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A Few Words From a Climate Change 'Denier'

For me at least, my skepticism is accompanied by irritation with the politicians who are using "global warming" as a scare tactic in order to influence our behavior. Some have turned it into a de facto religion, and it has backfired on them. The chicken little routine has simply not been effective.

If indeed, global warming is a myth, as I believe it is, I'd look at one of the industries hardest hit by new regulations that are primarily from the Environmental Protection Agency. The coal industry is being decimated given stricter limits being placed on it and the increased costs of compliance.

Names like Arch Coal (ACI) (down about 35% year to date), Peabody Energy (BTU) (down about 30% year to date), Alpha Natural Resources (ANR) (down 36% year to date), Walter Energy (WLT) (down about 58% year to date) have been hit hard. Yet coal remains one of our most prevalent natural resources and was the source of 37% of our power generation in 2012. The question is, can things get worse for this industry, or are the negatives surrounding it already priced in?

Part of the answer may have to do with our own appetite for EPA regulations that force higher electricity prices, something President Obama publicly stated as a goal prior to his election in 2008. But administrations come and go, science is ultimately proved right or wrong, and regulations change.

At the time of publication, Heller had no positions in stocks mentioned.

This article is commentary by an independent contributor, separate from TheStreet's regular news coverage.
Jonathan Heller, CFA, is president of KEJ Financial Advisors, his fee-only financial planning company. Jon spent 17 years at Bloomberg Financial Markets in various roles, from 1989 until 2005. He ran Bloomberg's Equity Fundamental Research Department from 1994 until 1998, when he assumed responsibility for Bloomberg's Equity Data Research Department. In 2001, he joined Bloomberg's Publishing group as senior markets editor and writer for Bloomberg Personal Finance Magazine, and an associate editor and contributor for Bloomberg Markets Magazine. In 2005, he joined SEI Investments as director of investment communications within SEI's Investment Management Unit.

Jon is also the founder of the Cheap Stocks Web site, a site dedicated to deep-value investing. He has an undergraduate degree from Grove City College and an MBA from Rider University, where he has also served on the adjunct faculty; he is also a CFA charter holder.
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