The following commentary comes from an independent investor or market observer as part of TheStreet's guest contributor program, which is separate from the company's news coverage.
NEW YORK ( TheStreet)-- In an attempt to address the rising costs of fuel and crude oil, President Obama stated that it is vital for the U.S. to embark on a long-term plan to tap domestic resources and soften its dependency on foreign oil.
That policy could potentially influence the iShares Dow Jones US Oil & Gas Exploration (IEO), Oil Service HOLDRs (OIH), Market Vectors Global Alternative Energy ETF (GEX) and the Market Vectors Uranium and Nuclear Energy ETF (NLR).
Obama specifically called for new incentives to boost production of crude oil, gas and biofuels as well as more stringent fuel efficiency standards on vehicles and further development of alternative energy solutions.Obama reaffirmed his support for nuclear power and the usage of natural gas. Although the specific incentives are still a work in progress some could include shortening lease terms, speeding up the process of securing lease and drilling permits, lowering the royalties paid to the federal government for leases and expanding production areas offshore. According to the Department of Interior, there could be as much as 11.6 billion barrels of untapped crude oil and 59.2 trillion cubic feet of natural gas in the Gulf of Mexico, but fewer than half of the leases on federal land are active. Critics blame the lack of drilling on bureaucratic red tape and strict guidelines which make it extremely challenging for drillers. At the end of the day, Obama's energy plan aims to reduce oil imports by nearly one-third over the next 10 years and reduce the nation's dependency on imported oil. As mentioned above, some ETFs that are likely influenced by the President's plan include:
- iShares Dow Jones US Oil & Gas Exploration and Production, which includes companies in its portfolio such as Occidental Petroleum (OXY), Apache (APA), Devon Energy (DVN) and Chesapeake Energy (CHK) in its top holdings.
- Oil Service HOLDRs, which includes Schlumberger (SLB), Baker Hughes (BHI) and Halliburton (HAL) as its top holdings.
- Market Vectors Glb Alternative Energy ETF, which is a diversified play on alternative energy. Some of its top holdings include First Solar (FSLR), Vesta Wind Systems (VWS) and Cree (CREE).
- Market Vectors Uranium & Nuclear Energy ETF, which is an equity play in nuclear energy. Top holdings include Constellation Energy (CEG), Cameco (CCO) and Exelon (EXC).