Thursday, November 8, 2012

Rassin' Crassin' Frackin' Election Results

The day after the day after (election 2012)...

Moving beyond the stages of grief and begun to pondering the likely effects and trends that will follow (and what actions to take vis a vis investment, personal planning etc).

One area is the cost of energy. Based on this adminstration's attitude and regulation/restrictions on energy in their first term, I'm betting they stay with the war on energy exploration, development and distribution/pipelines.

There are questions then that follow in my mind.
Who hurts?
Who benefits?
How do I join in those benefits and minimize the personal hurt?

Vehicle fuel expense is my biggest energy cost. Living in SoCal that's a  tough nut to crack.  Vehicle fuel is the first order effect if energy costs rise further. We drive _a lot_. Even when we cut back our driving like during the 2008 fuel price spike, we drive _a lot_.  

A distant second but persistent sore spot is our utility expenses.  Maybe it's time to get on the PV (Photo voltaic, aka solar power) bandwagon for our house. The breakeven numbers are getting pretty close for that. I'm reluctant to dip that deep into the savings. OTOH, there are some financing/lease options now that reduce up front costs. That would at least decouple us from being at the mercy of SDGE (aka San Diego Graft and Extortion).

On the investment side: Big companies tend to benefit over little companies with increased regulation (that translates to staying the course with my big company dividend/MLP stocks). The green war on coal makes me wary of my one big coal stock and one big utility stock that is major coal user. This qtr looks like my coal producer is making it up in exports to fuel energy offshore. I'll stand pat for now but watch those closely -- I'm in them primarily for the security and growth of their dividends so as long as their ability to cover divi's is good I can relax a bit on that.

I'm very concerned that the election will hurt our current natural gas boom. That's been one of the few really bright spots for jobs. Will this admin choke it by regulation on fracking?
Here's a good primer on fracking: