Thursday, November 8, 2012

Da Winnas and Da Loozas

What a terrible election season this was.  I'm so relieved not to have to see smiley "surrogates" and pundits on the screen every time I turn on the TV that I might actually start watching cable news again.  The silence is deafening, but in a good way (although the upcoming row about the "fiscal cliff" will certainly break the silence).

While we all try to figure out the real winners and losers from the election, I'm pretty certain that we will be able to put natural gas pretty high in the winner's column.  Even though the energy industry spent big bucks against President Obama (of approximately $116 million spent, 80% went to Repubs, 20% to Dems), his re-election bodes well for gas.  

I've said it before:  the biggest opportunity for increasing natural gas demand is in power generation by taking market share from coal.  With the EPA introducing more stringent air pollution requirements for coal plants, natural gas will be the beneficiary.  Romney bought into the "war on coal" line and promised to ease restrictions on coal plants.  Clearly, that wouldn't have been good for natural gas.

Will there be federal regulations against hydraulic fracturing?  I doubt it.  The President knows that shale is the golden goose, and he is smart enough not to kill it.  There will be tension, but in the end, the gas industry will be just fine.  

One uncertainty will be whether or not the big spenders in the corporate suites of oil and gas companies will see their campaign spending largess come back to bite them in the tookus.  I guess it will if they are going to have to pay more personal taxes.  Maybe that's what the big spending was about to begin with...

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