America's beaten-down oil drillers will be watching their pennies even as Republicans and President Donald Trump aim to slash taxes for U.S. companies, shale oil pioneer and former Trump energy advisor Harold Hamm said Friday.
While Hamm says that tax cuts are the "icing on the cake" that businesses need to "turn it loose," he also believes the U.S. oil industry has entered a new era of fiscal discipline.
That could be a concern for Republicans, who are counting on companies to use their tax savings to raise wages and invest in capital projects that stimulate the economy. The GOP is banking on economic growth to pay for much of the $1.5 trillion tax cut.
A new analysis by the Joint Committee on Taxation concluded that the Senate tax bill would add more than $1 trillion to federal deficits over the next 10 years, even after accounting for economic growth.
Asked what his company, Continental Resources, will do with its tax savings, Hamm suggested the Oklahoma City-based driller will focus on shoring up its bottom line.
"We haven't had a lot of profit in our sector of the business" during a three-year oil price downturn, he told CNBC's "Squawk on the Street" on Friday. "Perhaps going forward maybe we could have some profit to look at."