Last week, President Biden signed an executive order pausing new federal oil fracking leases. This was one in a series of orders related to climate initiatives.
Biden argued that “hydraulic fracturing, or fracking, won’t be banned but said the government needs to help create more jobs in cleaner energy.”
Critics counter that it will reduce revenue to the federal government and lead to job losses. Sen. John Cornyn, R-Texas, said it “will harm American energy and send more business to our international competitors.”
Oil prices changed little on the news. That indicates traders don’t believe this is significant. It could be because the order, like many executive orders, will be appealed to the courts. That means it will be delayed and may be overturned.
The lack of price movement could also mean that this isn’t a big deal. In all likelihood, Biden’s order will have little impact on the industry.
One reason is that U. S. policy has become increasingly unstable in the 21st century. Executive orders have replaced legislation. Without compromise, investors expect policies to change when the White House changes hands.
Instability means the market assigns increasingly smaller values to sectors affected by executive orders.
Another reason is that investment will simply shift to private lands. There is also oil in the land adjacent to federal land, and the executive order doesn’t ban fracking on private lands.
This doesn’t mean the orders won’t have any impact. States that rely on revenue from federal leases will suffer. New Mexico faces the steepest loss.
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This may have an adverse impact on residents of New Mexico who depend on that revenue to support schools and other services.
Companies that drill on federal lands will also face challenges. In particular, Occidental Petroleum Corporation (NYSE: OXY), Cimarex Energy Co. (NYSE: XEC), Concho Resources Inc. (NYSE: CXO) and Devon Energy Corporation (NYSE: DVN) are among the most-exposed companies.
This is an example of how news is important, but a more detailed analysis is needed. President Biden’s fracking order is likely to have little impact on global climate change. It’s most likely to hurt a small group of citizens, companies and investors.
Michael Carr is a Chartered Market Technician for Banyan Hill Publishing and the Editor of One Trade, Peak Velocity Trader and Precision Profits. He teaches technical analysis and quantitative technical analysis at the New York Institute of Finance. Mr. Carr is also the former editor of the CMT Association newsletter, Technically Speaking.
Follow him on Twitter @MichaelCarrGuru.