Natural Gas, America's Best Bet

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"Experts believe the Marcellus could hold >500 trillion cubic feet of nat gas."

Natural Gas, America's Best BetNatural gas is considered the best energy investment due to its growing demand, environmental advantages and supply breakthrough, which has radically changed the outlook for cleaner energy. Arguably, shale gas, slated to account for 17% of total U.S. natural gas supply, is the largest story in the energy business in the last 20 years.

For stock portfolios, nat gas qualifies as a smart investment. Market forecasters understand it will be essential in meeting s growing global energy demand, particularly in emerging economies.

However, politicians' uncertainty about one of the world's largest natural gas resources, North America's Marcellus Shale, is making waves today even in China where I'm currently traveling. Chinese investors are totally bewildered at some recent actions that can only be considered as an American economic hara-kiri.

In Pennsylvania, a state facing budget constraints and high unemployment, political gamesmanship is creating roadblocks to what should be a substantive economic injection to the state and American economy. Governor Ed Rendell imposed a ban on any natural gas drilling on state-owned forest land. Many speculate this is simply political maneuvering after Rendell's failed attempt to pass a nat gas severance tax bill.

His executive order, though more symbolic than substantial, will still serve to strengthen China's resolve in securing the world's remaining energy reserves—further weakening U.S. energy security.

This handicap is substantial considering European, Australian and Asian companies are closely following North America's lead in utilizing new technology to develop unconventional sources like nat gas from shale formations and crude from oil sands.

While estimates vary, some experts believe the Marcellus Shale could hold over 500 trillion cubic feet of nat gas. This abundant resource could provide the world with a major source of clean energy in the years and decades to come.

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