Kenneth Fisher says we’re on the cusp of a major shift in energy usage in the U.S., and savvy investors can benefit from it.
In his latest Forbes column, Fisher says that this shift will be the result of “fracking” — the process of injecting fluid at very high pressure into an oil, water or natural gas well to make tiny fissures in underground rock, which lets the gas or oil or water escape. “While fracking is a decades-old process, it has made great technological strides in the past few years,” Fisher writes. “It will make and keep natural gas cheap for a long, long time. Gas that now costs $5 per thousand cubic feet at the wellhead could come down in price to $2. The consequence will be a large-scale displacement of competing energy sources by gas.”
Dirtier or more expensive energy sources will lose out because of this shift, Fisher says. “There’s no denying that burning natural gas (methane, that is) produces less carbon dioxide per unit of energy than burning coal,” he writes. “The consequence is that electric power production is going to migrate from coal to gas.”
Fisher also talks about why investors focusing on alternative energy sources like windmills and solar cells should “give it up,” and he talks about why he thinks critics of fracking are “dead wrong”. He also offers several stock picks that he says should get a boost from the shift toward fracking and natural gas.