Maybe President Obama can make the transition to natural gas that Ed Rendell just did in Pennsylvania. The transition is a simple one: Focus on jobs and many things go well; don't focus on jobs and you aren't focused on anything.
When I first heard of the Marcellus Shale from Aubrey McClendon of Chesapeake (NYSE: CHK) (Cramer's Take), I was pretty much in disbelief. How could there be so much natural gas in some place in western Pennsylvania? Too good to be true.
That was just a few years ago. I devoured everything I could read about the Marcellus Shale and quickly asked the governor to come on the show. I had known him for years, had helped raise money for him and thought this natural gas patch might be the thing he needed to get people in his state hiring again in good jobs.
Initially, he didn't seem all that interested. In fact, I dealt more with his environmental preservation people than him, as there were initial thoughts that too much water was being used and too many roads broken down.
All of that has now been dealt with and this weekend Rendell actually made sure that the industry wasn't taxed for bringing nat gas out of the ground, setting the stage for a drilling boom and pipeline laying -- the infrastructure for this is much better in Louisiana and Texas than Pennsylvania so both the drilling rigs and the pipelines have to be moved and created.
Rendell's pretty confident that as many as 200,000 jobs will be created over the next few years and that nat gas will be used as a bridge fuel. He also believes that if the federal government mandates that its own fleets be natural gas-capable, we will have gone a long way toward switching to this fuel.
Was he helped by lobbyists like Murry Gerber, the CEO of EQT (NYSE: EQT) (Cramer's Take), the largest natural gas company in Pennsylvania?
No. While he took money from them, I think he saw an opportunity to get the drilling companies to come to Pennsylvania over New York, which already has made life hell for them over environmental concerns, and over West Virginia, which does tax the stuff.For more Cramer, click here.