Joe Leimkuhler

Joe Leimkuhler


  • M.S., Petroleum Engineering, University of Wyoming (1987). [1]
  • B.S., Geology, Forestry, University of Montana (1981).[1]
  • Business Executive Development Program, Wharton School, University of Pennsylvania.[1]


Joe Leimkuhler is the vice president of drilling for LLOG Exploration based in Covington, Louisiana where he is responsible for “drilling and completion operations and well engineering.”[1]

Before joining LLOG in 2012, Leimkuhler was the offshore well delivery manager for Shell International E&P Co (SIEP) where he covered Gulf of Mexico well operations. Prior to SEIP he worked for Shell E&P Americas in a similar role. Throughout his career, Leimkuhler worked in various drilling capacities for oil companies. [1]

Leimkuhler has spoken at the Heartland Institute’s “America First Energy Conference” (AFEC) on more than one occasion.

Stance on Climate Change

January 19, 2015

In a Facebook post, Leimkuhler commented on an article in USA Today, describing it as “rubbish”: [2]


“The warmest year on record as per NASA. With (as per their graphics) the greatest warming occurring in the Artic [sic]. Then the Artic [sic] sea ice should also be at a minimum. However sea ice monitoring shows continued growth of artic sea ice over the past two years and a substantial increase from 2011-2012. Well then the south pole must have less ice right. We are after all talking about a global phenomenon. Well the Antarctic sea ice is not only growing it is at a record size, and globally the total sea ice is way above average.

“How can this be AND the year also be the hottest on record! Simply put the correction algorithms used to compensate for the urban heat island effects are wrong. As are the majority if not all of the climate models used by the UN IPCC which do not take into account celestial cycles, cloud formation impacts of comic [sic] rays and numerous other parameters that are a bigger driver than CO2,” Leimkuhler wrote.

Screenshot below:

Joe Leimkuhler on global warming

Key Quotes

November 9, 2017

During the Heartland Institute‘s America First Energy Conference in 2017, Leimkuhler described supposed “misconceptions” about fracking. Discounting the issue of earthquakes caused by fracking, he said that fracking actually “reduces the probability of future quakes.” [3]

August 13, 2017

During his presentation at the Doctors for Disaster Preparedness 35th annual meeting, Leimkuhler argued he would have a lower carbon footprint by driving a gasoline vehicle than an electric-powered one in every state but California due to the emissions put out by coal power plants. [4]

“If I believe I need to reduce my carbon footprint to save the planet, I should focus on efficiency, and not drive around an electric car,” Leimkuler said. 

Key Deeds

August 24–27, 2018

Leimkuhler was listed as a registered speaker for the 36th annual meeting of Doctors for Disaster Preparedness in Las Vegas, Nevada. The speakers list included a range of prominent climate change deniers including Willie Soon, Joe Bastardi, Steve Goreham, Paul Driessen, Ken Haapala, and Fred Singer. [5]

August 7, 2018

Leimkuhler spoke at the Heartland Institute‘s “America First Energy Conference” (AFEC 2018) in New Orleans, Louisiana. [6]

The conference description reads: “The purpose of this event is to promote and expand energy freedom in the United States, as outlined in President Donald Trump’s bold America First Energy Plan, a proposal first released during the 2016 presidential campaign. The president’s plan marks a decisive change in direction from the Obama administration’s ‘war on fossil fuels’ and focus on the theory of catastrophic man-caused climate change.”  [7]

He spoke on a panel titled “The Future of Coal, Oil, and Natural Gas.” [8]

“The future, for a variety of reasons, we need a stronger onshore and offshore for energy diversity and a strong oil economy. The strengths and weaknesses counteract.

“The technology and the geological advances are amazing. But without that, peak oil would absolutely be a reality.”

November 24, 2017

Leimkuhler was a guest on the Heartland Institute’s Daily Podcast to discuss “The possibilities for American Energy Dominance.” Audio below. [9]

November 9, 2017

Speaking at the Heartland Institute‘s America First Energy Conference (AFEC) 2017. Leimkuhler delivered a breakfast keynote presentation to answer the question “Can the U.S. Dominate Energy.” [10]

Leimkuhler concluded the U.S. should “dominate” in areas like fossil fuel and nuclear energy, but not in renewables, which he described as “subsidy energy”: [10]

“Renewables: both short- and long-term, no. I don’t think we should dominate subsidy energy unless it’s cost-effective with no government subsidy and competes solely based on the full lifecycle cost and benefits.”

“To answer the question [on] USA energy dominance: I think we can, if all energy competes in the open market. I don’t think the public has a decent enough appreciation of everything the free market brings, both in terms of innovation, and helping us understand what we don’t even know that we don’t know right now. And if we were to do that, I think it would actually be easy.”

Tom Harris, head of the International Climate Science Coalition (ICSC), a group that has consistently questioned established science behind man-made climate change, quoted Leimkuhler’s AFEC speech as support for eliminating emissions controls on coal-fired power plants. [10]

“Speaking at the Nov 9 America First Energy Conference in Houston, Texas, keynote speaker Joe Leimkuhler, vice president of drilling for Louisiana-based LLOG Exploration, showed that America has 22.1% of the world’s proven coal reserves, the greatest of any country and enough to last for 381 years at current consumption rates. So, it is a tragedy that America can no longer build modern coal-fired power stations to replace its aging fleet. Clearly, the rule limiting CO2 emissions from new coal-fired power stations must be cancelled as soon as possible,” Harris wrote at Townhall. [11]

August 13, 2017

Spoke at the 35th Annual Meeting of Doctors for Disaster Preparedness (DDP) with a presentation titled “Can the U.S. Dominate Energy?” (the identical title to a presentation he gave the following month at the Heartland Institute‘s America First Energy Conference (AFEC) 2017.) [4]

DDP has listed climate change among “environmental scares” and regularly features prominent climate change deniers at its events. [12]

August 25, 2010

Leimkuhler was questioned among other oil industry executives as part of an investigation into the prevention and response to offshore oil spills as part of the National Commission on the Deepwater Horizon Oil Spill and Offshore Drilling meeting. Video below, via C-SPAN (Leimkuhler’s presentation begins at 30:30). [13]


  • LLOG Exploration Company — Vice president of drilling (Mar 2012 – Present). [1]
  • Shell Oil — Offshore well delivery manager – Americas (Jun 1987 – Mar 2012). [1]
  • Mars Development — Former project drilling engineer. [1]
  • M-I Drilling Fluids[1]
  • ARCO — worked in drilling and reservoir engineering in Bakersfield California. [1]
  • American Association of Drilling Engineers — Member, National Board of Directors. Former National President (2007 – 2009). [1]
  • GOM Deepwater Technical Symposium — Chair/co-chair (2010–2014) [1]
  • Society of Petroleum Engineers — Member. [1]

Social Media


According to a search of Google Scholar, Leimkuhler co-authored a papers related to oil and gas drilling:


  1. Joe Leimkuhler,” LinkedIn. Accessed October 26, 2018. Archived .pdf on file at DeSmog.
  2. Facebook post by Joe Leimkuhler, January 19, 2015. Archived .png on file at DeSmog.
  3. Fracking Myths vs. Realities,” YouTube video uploaded by user “The Heartland Institute,” August 2, 2018. Archived .mp4 on file at DeSmog.
  4. Can the U.S. Dominate Energy? – Joe Leimkuhler,” YouTube video uploaded by user “DDPmeetings,” November 19, 2017. Archived .mp4 on file at DeSmog.
  5. DDP 2018 Annual Meeting – Registration Open!” Doctors for Disaster Preparedness, May 23, 2018. Archived October 26, 2018. URL
  6. Speakers,” America First Energy Conference 2018. Archived August 1, 2018. URL:
  7. About,” America First Energy Conference 2018. Archived July 23, 2018. URL
  8. JOE LEIMKUHLER,” America First Energy Conference 2018. Archived August 1, 2018. Archive URL:
  9. JOE LEIMKUHLER: ASSESSING THE POSSIBILITIES FOR AMERICAN ENERGY DOMINANCE,” The Heartland Institute, November 24, 2017. Archived October 26, 2018. Archived .mp4 on file at DeSmog. URL 
  10. Joe Leimkuhler, Breakfast Keynote, AFEC,” YouTube video uploaded by user “The Heartland Institute,” December 2, 2017. Archived .mp4 on file at DeSmog.
  11. Cold Reminds Us of Importance of Dependable Energy,” Townhall, January 12, 2018. Archived October 26, 2018. URL:
  12. Ozone hole, Global warming, and other Environmental Scares,” Doctors for Disaster Preparedness. Archived October 26, 2018. URL
  13. Regulatory Oversight of Offshore Drilling, Panel 1,” C-SPAN, August 25, 2010. (Leimkuhler’s presentation begins at 30:30). Archived .mp4 on file at DeSmog.

Other Resources


*Profile image of Leimkuhler speaking at the Heartland Institute’s 2018 America First Energy Conference (AFEC), screenshot via YouTube.

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