Ron, welcome. You are making a presentation at the Money-Show conferencein Orlando in late January. What is the gist of your presentation?
Ron Muhlenkamp: The gist of my presentation is that natural gas has become an energy game changer in the U.S. We are cutting the cost of energy in half. This has already happened for homeowners like me who heat their homes with natural gas. We think the next up to benefit is probably the transportation sector.
TER: What is behind this game change?
\”Natural gas has become an energy game changer in the U.S.\”
RM: The combination of horizontal drilling and fracking has made an awful lot of gas available cheaply. There\’s a whole lot of gas that\’s now available at $5/thousand cubic feet ($5/Mcf) or less. I live in Western Pennsylvania, and 30 years ago, Ray Mansfield was in the oil and gas drilling business, having retired from the Steelers. He said, Ron, we know where all the gas is in Pennsylvania; it\’s just a matter of price. If the price runs up, we will drill more. If the price runs down, we will drill less. Any way you slice it, we are just sitting on an awful lot of it.
Two years ago, we had a warm winter, and the price of gas actually got down to $2/Mcf. You saw an awful lot of electric utilities switch from coal to gas. Literally in a year, what had been 50% of electricity produced by coal went to 35%. The difference was made up with natural gas.