Will Donald Trump make oil great again? (Sorry, we can't resist).
In this clip from the Industry Focus: Energy podcast, The Motley Fool's Sean O'Reilly and Taylor Muckerman unpack, examine, and give their take on some of the statements Trump has made about oil -- and why they're not as promising to energy sector investors as they might initially seem. Listen to hear more about the presidential candidate's comments on the power of OPEC, oil exploration, and the coal market.
A transcript follows the video.
This podcast was recorded on Jun. 2, 2016.
Sean O'Reilly: Is Donald Trump going to make oil great again?
Taylor Muckerman: That's what he says. I don't know if he used that exact phrase, but it wouldn't surprise me. Used just very simple terms. Going to deregulate oil and other fossil fuels.
O'Reilly: What do you think about what he said about OPEC? Did you hear that?
Muckerman: Exactly? ... No.
O'Reilly: He was like, "If OPEC did what they do in the world in this country, they'd be in jail," and, "Oh, they set the price of oil," which I actually don't necessarily agree with, especially in the market today.
Muckerman: Yeah. Again, he's leaning on old truths.
O'Reilly: That was true in the 70s and 80s, not today.
Muckerman: It was even true 10 years ago. Even as far back as a few years ago, because you saw what happened in 2014. They tried to use their old mechanisms, and oil producers in the U.S. Some of them are going bankrupt, but those probably shouldn't have been in business anyway. I think he's just leaning on those old truths to where OPEC doesn't have nearly the power that it used to. As you've seen with the meetings over the past year or so that have resulted in ...
Muckerman: ... next to nothing in terms of market movements. They can't get on the same page right now. There's some disagreement, and rightfully so, within those ranks.
O'Reilly: Trump's obviously pro-fracking, which, I think everybody is.
Muckerman: Pro-fracking, pro-coal. Not everyone. But there's more pro-frackers than there are pro-coal miners.
O'Reilly: That was the point I found most interesting, the pro-coal. Is that even a good idea, given that there's so much natural gas in this country?
Muckerman: I don't think it's a good idea because other countries are shunning coal.
O'Reilly: Yeah, and he's like, "We're still sending coal to China," and I'm like, that's not quite true still.
Muckerman: Some experts have suggested that China's carbon emissions peaked last year. They're two years ahead of their carbon emissions reduction goals.
O'Reilly: Who would have bet on that?
Muckerman: Not me. They're also scheduled to build out the biggest array of solar power this year in the world. The biggest purchaser of coal is turning a cold shoulder to it. Our coal users in the United States are turning a cold shoulder to it. I think that's a talking point, and I wouldn't recommend investing based on that. At least in terms of coal. At the Fool in general, we don't recommend investing based on elections, because these things take time to play out.
O'Reilly: And then it's a coin flip.
Muckerman: And then it's a coin flip. If you invested in healthcare, trying to play the Affordable Care Act, that took seven years to get through, and we're still years away from finding out exactly how it's going to impact various sectors within the healthcare industry. We don't necessarily agree with investing based on election cycles. That being said, oil probably wouldn't do terribly if Trump was the president. But he keeps talking about reducing our reliance on international oil.
O'Reilly: He kept hitting the energy independence talking point!
Muckerman: Yeah. We still only produce 50% of the oil we need. I doubt we'll ever produce all the oil we need until demand comes down.
O'Reilly: Right. He basically intimated that we could produce 15, 16 million barrels a day in this country, and I was like ...
Muckerman: Yeah ...
O'Reilly: To our listeners who aren't watching the video, the look on Taylor's face is pretty ...
Muckerman: He oversimplifies things. Considering, we were producing around 9.5, now we're below 9, and falling. And clearly we're not rediscovering enough to produce 15 or 16 million barrels. Unless some countries just completely dry up and we have to, I doubt that will ever happen.