President Joe Biden complained that oil companies were not drilling enough for oil, despite his long history of trying to block oil and gas production in the United States.
“We haven’t slowed them down at all, they should be drilling more than they’re doing now,” Biden said. “If they were drilling more we’d have more relief at the pump.”
The president spoke about high gas prices during a trip to New Mexico to campaign for Democrat candidates.
Biden, however, has acted several times during his first two years in office to lower the production of oil and gasoline in the United States.
Biden has leased fewer acres for oil and gas in his first two years than any other administration at the same point in time since the end of World War II, according to the Wall Street Journal.
In January 2021, Biden also issued an executive order freezing oil and gas leases, a decision that has been tangled up in the courts.
He also suspended oil production leases in the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge, after former President Donald Trump opened up the vast oil reserves for production.
Biden also ordered the halt of the Keystone XL oil pipeline, which would have moved 830,000 barrels of crude oil from Canada to the United States.
Oil companies are less motivated to invest in long-term oil production since the president campaigned on the idea of ending fossil fuels.
“No more subsidies for the fossil fuel industry. No more drilling including offshore. No ability for the oil industry to continue to drill period,” Biden said in March 2020. “It ends.”
Joe Biden in 2020: "No more subsidies for the fossil fuel industry. No more drilling including offshore. No ability for the oil industry to continue to drill period. It ends." pic.twitter.com/90MVJevPmv
— Dan O'Donnell (@DanODonnellShow) March 8, 2022
The president complained during his campaign speech in New Mexico that the oil industry had not met its commitment to the American people by charging too much for gas and making billions of dollars in profits.
“These outrageous profits are the windfalls of war,” he said, referring to the spike in oil prices after Russia invaded Ukraine.
Biden threatened to target oil companies with more taxes.
“Either invest in America or pay higher taxes for your excess profits and face restrictions,” he said.