- Cold-Weather Investing: Coal, Natural-Gas and Heating-Oil Investments Will Pack a Punch in January
- The End of the Cap-and-Trade Masquerade Opens New Doors For Investors
- How Washington Will Mess with Your Money in 2010
- Copenhagen Climate Summit Could Reshape the Investment Landscape
- Will Global Warming Alarmism Disappear Like the Hula-Hoop?
In short, now's the time to start thinking about such winter-related topics as heating bills, and such cold-weather investments as natural gas, heating oil and coal.
According to the American Petroleum Institute (API), natural gas provides heat for 55% of homes in the United States, followed by electricity, which warms 39%. Heating oil, propane and coal play only minor direct roles, although coal is used to fire 49% of America's electric generating plants, with another 20% fueled by natural gas.
That means natural gas is the natural choice of investors looking for winter-related profits - although Dr. Kent Moors, editor of Oil & Energy Investor newsletter and a frequent contributor to Money Morning, cautions that factors other than routine home-heating demand play a major role in setting prices.
Indeed, Financial Times columnist Clive Crook even said that the United States "has let the world down on climate."
But here's the irony. With the Senate's refusal, we may just have moved a step closer to a climate change policy that will actually work. And that's good news for U.S. taxpayers. And it opens new doors for U.S. investors.
Indeed, investors who are trying to estimate the impact that politics will have on their portfolios in 2010 are likely finding this attempt at analysis to be an exercise in futility.
If that's been the case, read on: Political pundits - even those who claim to be impartial - spend a lot of time trying to score points for their side. But they aren't really that interested in the economic aspects of the endless battle. I certainly don't claim to be any more unbiased than the next person. However, I thought it worth trying to take an educated guess at what will actually happen, and what it will mean for our money.
Leaders and policymakers from nearly 200 nations yesterday (Monday) commenced an 11-day summit in which they will attempt to hammer out some details of a carbon treaty that could have significant impact on businesses and investment.
Start the conversation
The Copenhagen summit aims to put finer points on what, up to this point, have been dull notions about how to respond to global climate change. World leaders from both wealthy and developing countries will attempt to set new carbon emissions goals, outline a timetable for achieving those goals, and detail on how they will be financed.
Some analysts are skeptical that such an immense undertaking will be met with success. Emerging and developed nations have clashed in the past, as poorer nations contend that climate change is a problem wrought by industrialized countries. Industrialized nations, they argue, should therefore be held to higher standards and offer financing to emerging markets that are ill equipped to deal with reform.