NEW YORK (ETF Expert) -- According to Gov. Mitt Romney, extreme environmentalism in the current White House has obstructed high-paying jobs in the oil and gas sector.
Indeed, "Drill, Baby, Drill" is more than a Republican mantra. Romney believes that abundant natural gas in North America is an avenue for reducing unemployment, lowering fuel costs and lessening dependence on foreign fossil fuels.
President Obama counters that the United States must pursue alternative, renewable sources of energy. The president maintains that forward-thinking government initiatives will create "green" jobs for the future, establish energy independence as well as preserve the environment.
Not surprisingly, Americans are torn. We don't want to pay $4 for a gallon of unleaded, especially when the government siphons off 65 cents. At the same time, the country isn't convinced that government spending of close to $50,000 on every
Chevrolet Volt is a sensible path either.
Perhaps ironically, there is a middle ground -- natural gas exploration and production. Neither Romney nor Obama may be comfortable with it, but both will find themselves supporting its expansion over the next four years.
First of all, the U.S. is already the largest producer of natural gas. In fact, we'd be the largest exporter as well, were it not for regulations designed to keep natural gas prices from rising stateside.
Secondly, natural gas is the cleanest-burning fuel in existence, where its production and use may be less harmful to the environment than hybrid or electric technologies.
Third, even the most ardent advocate of alternative energy recognizes the importance of transitional renewables like natural gas.
In brief, the
may have launched QE3 for a temporary jolt to the U.S. economy's heart but after the election cooler heads will have to come to a quick decision on a more permanent fiscal policy to help the economy.
If you're Team Obama, you certainly recognize the power of green-lighting a natural gas pipeline or the electricity generated by telling a narrative about an intelligent transition from oil to natural gas to natural gas/solar/electric.
If you're Team Romney, your success story centers on "Jobs, Baby, Jobs," as millions of direct and indirect jobs would result from a total embrace of the locally produced commodity.
First Trust ISE-Revere Natural Gas Index Fund
holds 31 of some of the world's most successful players in the space, including
Cabot Oil and Gas
While this exchange-traded fund has suffered mightily in the global growth slowdown, worldwide monetary stimulus has been particularly kind to FCG in the past. After 2010's installation of QE2, in fact, FCG went on a 50% six-month run between October 2010 and April 2011.
I might be inclined to overweight "nat gas production" via FCG in aggressive client portfolios. Not only do I believe the commodity itself will get a boost from central-bank reflation policies.
But whatever the composition of Congress in 2013, the legislative branch should be able to agree on one of the country's clearest competitive advantages.
That said, Middle East crises and euro-zone flare-ups could keep cyclical investments on edge. For that reason, one should not expect to buy-n-hold the First Trust ISE-Revere Natural Gas Index Fund. Look for a buying opportunity near the 50-day moving average and employ a
protective stop order when you make your purchase.
This article was written by an independent contributor, separate from TheStreet's regular news coverage.
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