By Justin Spittler, editor, Casey Daily Dispatch
A revolution has begun.
It’s going to change America in ways you can’t possibly imagine.
No, I’m not talking about a political revolution. I’m talking about an energy revolution.
Rick Perry, President Trump’s energy secretary, explained this revolution in a press conference last week:
For years, Washington stood in the way of our energy dominance. That changes now.
We are now looking to help, not hinder, energy producers and job creators.
Perry makes a good point.
From 2009 to 2016, the Obama administration held back America’s energy sector. The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) alone enacted nearly 4,000 regulations during Obama’s tenure.
These measures severely handicapped the energy sector. They even killed some companies.
Of course, Obama’s no longer running the show. Trump is. And he wants to put American energy companies first.
This might sound like an empty promise. But if there’s one thing Trump’s done consistently since taking office, it’s support the energy sector.
This is great news for oil and gas companies. But it’s even better news for an industry that many investors have left for dead.
• I’m talking about the coal industry…
The coal business is what Doug Casey likes to call a “choo-choo train” industry.
It’s a dirty, dangerous, and downright difficult industry. It hasn’t changed much since the Industrial Revolution, either.
That’s why environmentalists hate it. It’s also why the EPA passed more than 33,000 pages of regulations under Obama.
These measures have cost coal companies $312 billion since 2009. That’s nearly $40 billion per year.
• Obama basically tried to regulate the coal industry out of existence…
He nearly succeeded, too.
Just look at all these coal companies that have gone bankrupt in the last few years.
James River Coal
New World Resources
Alpha Natural Resources
Just so you know, these aren’t second- or third-tier companies. They’re some of the biggest U.S. coal producers.
• U.S. coal production fell almost 35% between 2009 and 2016…
It’s also why the percentage of U.S. electricity fueled by coal plunged from more than 35% in late 2014 to less than 25% a year later.
When most people see these statistics, they write off coal completely. They assume it’s finished.
But coal isn’t going anywhere…at least not anytime soon.
This dislocation between fact and fantasy has created a huge investing opportunity. Here’s why…
• Trump wants to help coal companies…
Everyone knows this. It was one of his biggest pledges during his campaign.
But unlike many other things Trump’s promised, he’s actually delivered on this.
In fact, one of the first things Trump did as president was roll back the Stream Protection Rule in February. A month later, he called for a review of Obama’s Clean Power Plan.
He also wants to make it easier for U.S. coal companies to export coal and build coal plants overseas.
So far, Trump’s efforts have worked.
• U.S. coal production is up 19% this year…
Coal companies have also added 1,300 jobs since December.
This tells us that Trump is breathing life back into the coal industry. Still, you should understand something important…
The coal industry will never make a full recovery.
That’s because natural gas and renewables have become much cheaper in recent years. Because of this, more and more U.S. power plants are using less coal.
That’s the bad news for the industry. The good news is that coal doesn’t have to return to its glory days for you to make a fortune. It just has to go from “terrible” to “not so bad.”
Here’s why that will happen…
• The rest of the world still needs coal…
Right now, 1.2 billion people on the planet lack access to electricity. That’s 16% of the world’s population. That’s also 3.5 times more people than there are living in the United States right now.
Most of these people live in China and India. These are two of the world’s fastest-growing economies.
But these countries can’t keep growing like this without a lot of electricity. And that means huge demand for coal.
Why, you ask? Simple. Coal is still one of the cheapest, most abundant, and most dependable forms of energy. It’s also easy to store and transport.
It’s the natural choice for emerging markets with massive energy needs. Just look at what China’s doing.
It already burns 4 billion tons of coal every year. That’s four times as much as we burn in the States. And its appetite for coal is only going to get bigger.
• This is a huge opportunity for the United States…
After all, the U.S. has more than a quarter of the world’s coal reserves. Not only that, we have the desire and infrastructure in place to export coal.
But don’t take my word for it. Take it from Corsa Coal, a major U.S. coal producer. Their CEO recently said that they plan to export 85% of the coal they produce this year.
Most investors don’t realize this. They think the U.S. has to burn more coal for coal stocks to soar. But the industry just needs the government to leave it alone and for the rest of the world to keep burning coal.
Sooner or later, the masses will figure this out. When they do, money will pour into coal stocks.
You’ll want to be ready for that. Here’s how you can set yourself up for big gains today…
Buy the VanEck Vectors Coal ETF (KOL). This fund invests in 27 different coal and coal-related stocks. It’s a way to bet on a rebound in coal without gambling on one stock.
That said, you could still make a killing in KOL. To understand why, look at the chart below.
It shows the performance of KOL since it went public in 2008.
Two things jump off the screen here.
Number one, KOL’s up 116% since the start of 2016. That tells us the bottom in coal stocks is already in.
Number two, KOL is still down 74% from its 2011 highs. This means KOL could more than triple from here and still be cheaper than it was six years ago.
In short, there’s still plenty of upside in KOL. Still, you should understand that this is a speculation.
Don’t put more money into them than you can afford to lose. Have an exit strategy. And use stop losses. This will allow you to capture coal’s massive upside while limiting your downside.
Delray Beach, Florida
July 6, 2017
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