With the nation focused on the coming cost of Obamacare and the personal expense of avoiding the system, there's another U.S. policy initiative that may ultimately cost Americans much more dearly. The White House recently announced that it favors the promotion of free trade in liquified natural gas, rather than the protectionist attitude adopted by America's Energy Advantage, a lobbying group spearheaded by Dow Chemical (NYSE:DOW) and Alcoa (NYSE:AA).

While the policy may benefit energy companies such as Chesapeake (NYSE:CHK) and ExxonMobil (NYSE:XOM), it will hurt innovation and the bottom line of retailers such as Wal-Mart that could rely on cheap transportation from liquified natural gas.

In the following video, Fool.com contributor Doug Ehrman discusses the policy, how it compares with the cost of Obamacare, and why it has important investment ramifications.

Fool contributor Doug Ehrman has no position in any stocks mentioned. The Motley Fool has options on Chesapeake Energy. Try any of our Foolish newsletter services free for 30 days. We Fools don't all hold the same opinions, but we all believe that considering a diverse range of insights makes us better investors. The Motley Fool has a disclosure policy.