Friday, June 20, 2008

Gas Prices and Politics

While driving home from work today I was listening to a Republican talk show. The topic was, of course, gas prices and the continued climb north. They were making the argument that the Democrats were happy that gas prices were hitting all time highs and putting the squeeze on Americans pocketbooks. This type of rhetoric is very common in a red state like Texas, and this is one of the less asinine viewpoints. I am somewhat neutral in my political views although I tend to lean more liberal. Like most republicans I believe in a free market (at least in theory), but I do not agree in big business getting rich at the cost of society and the environment. Now that you know my viewpoint back to the topic at hand.

The only reason Democrats would be happy that gas prices are increasingly more expensive is this may encourage society to turn to alternative fuel sources that are more environmentally friendly. Everyone should agree that we need to find an alternative fuel source to free ourselves from our dependency on foreign countries. Oil prices are ridicules, but increasing drilling is only a temporary solution that is simply going to delay the inevitable. The inevitable being an alternative fuel source.

It would be a shame if congress decides to lift the ban on drilling in the Gulf of Mexico.

Back to stocks for a second. I have one picks for each situation. If congress decides to lift the ban, buy some RIG. Here is their business summary from Google finance:

Transocean Inc. (Transocean) is an international provider of offshore contract drilling services for oil and gas wells. As of February 20, 2008, the Company owned, had partial ownership interests in or operated 139 mobile offshore drilling units. Its fleet included 39 high-specification floaters (ultra-deepwater, deepwater and harsh environment semisubmersibles, and drillships), 29 midwater floaters, 10 high-specification jackups, 57 standard jackups and four other rigs. As of February 20, 2008, the Company also has eight ultra-deepwater floaters contracted for or under construction. The Company’s primary business is to contract these drilling rigs, related equipment and work crews primarily on a day rate basis to drill oil and gas wells. In November 2007, the Company completed its merger transaction with GlobalSantaFe Corporation (GlobalSantaFe).

If congress does not lift the ban and oil prices continue to rise look for some action in the solar industries. My favorite here is FSLR. Here is their business summary from Google finance:

First Solar, Inc. designs and manufactures solar modules using a thin film semiconductor technology. Its solar modules employ a thin layer of cadmium telluride semiconductor material to convert sunlight into electricity. It has long-term solar module supply contracts (the Long Term Supply Contracts) with 12 European project developers and system integrators. Its customers develops, owns and operates solar power plants or sells turnkey solar power plants to end-users that include owners of land, owners of agricultural buildings, owners of commercial warehouses, offices and industrial buildings, public agencies, municipal government authorities, utility companies, and financial investors that desire to own large scale solar power plant projects

Hope everyone has a great weekend!