The Biden Administration's "failed policies on energy are not working" and this administration hasn't changed its tune to the oil industry since day one in office, Continental Resources chairman and founder Harold Hamm told Fox Business in an interview on Monday.
Shale pioneer and oil billionaire Hamm was commenting on the record-high prices of gasoline and diesel in America, noting that economic weakness is inevitable when the U.S. economy is faced with the highest diesel prices on record.
As of May 16, the average nationwide gasoline price is $4.483 per gallon, according to AAA data. That's the highest average U.S. price ever. Diesel prices are also at a record $5.568 per gallon, the highest ever recorded.
Referring to the U.S. Administration, Harold Hamm did not spare criticism today.
"They haven't done anything except pound on more regulations and more burdens on the situation for the industry," the oil tycoon told Fox Business' Maria Bartiromo.
"They are not giving us any break out here in the field to produce more hydrocarbons," Hamm said, adding that leasing is not happening and access to federal permits is not enough.
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Hamm is one of the most vocal critics of the Biden Administration's energy policies. The U.S. Department of Energy is currently urging producers to pump more, but only in the short term, until the price of gasoline falls to acceptable (for the Administration) levels.
But the U.S. oil industry seeks a long-term commitment to the sector from the Administration and says that despite all pleas and calls, it simply cannot raise production too fast, too soon.
Not even $200 oil would incentivize shale giant Pioneer Natural Resources to drill beyond what it has planned for, according to chief executive Scott Sheffield.
"Whether it's $150 oil, $200 oil, or $100 oil, we're not going to change our growth plans," Sheffield told Bloomberg Television in an interview just before Russia invaded Ukraine. "If the president wants us to grow, I just don't think the industry can grow anyway," Sheffield added.
"We can't treat the oil and natural gas industry as a kind of light switch that is turned on or off to suit the political moment," American Petroleum Institute (API) President and CEO Mike Sommers said at The Economic Club of Colorado earlier this month.
"Production and delivery don't work that way. Yet the overriding policy lately has been to cancel pipelines, block permits, and deny leases – all of which suppress needed investment."
By Charles Kennedy for Oilprice.com
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Charles is a writer for Oilprice.com