Texas oil lobbyist nominated as new US ambassador to Saudi Arabia
United States President George W. Bush has selected a prominent Texas oil industry lobbyist with close ties to the Bush family to become the new US ambassador to Saudi Arabia, the White House announced Monday.
The nominee, James Oberwetter, currently serves as senior vice president of governmental and political affairs for Hunt Oil Company and is also a member of the general committee on communications of the American Petroleum Institute (API), the main oil industry lobby in Washington.
Oberwetter, a graduate of the University of Texas at Austin, has served as chairman of that lobbying group in the past and has extensive political connections in Washington.
API represents more than 400 companies and business associations involved in all aspects of the oil and natural gas industry.
Prior to joining Hunt Oil 28 years ago, he worked at the US Environmental Protection Agency after serving as press secretary to then US Congressman George H.W. Bush, the father of the current US president.
When Bush senior was elected president in 1988, Oberwetter worked as a member of his transition team in Washington, according to his corporate biography.
After Bush lost his 1992 reelection bid to Clinton, George W. Bush, who was elected Texas governor two years later, appointed Oberwetter chairman of the Texas Commission on Alcohol and Drug Abuse, according to AFP.
Moreover, Oberwetter served as a member of the Dallas Chamber of Commerce state government affairs committee. (Albawaba.com)