1. Fracking regulations will slow down the U.S. energy boom.
There has been an explosion in U.S. crude oil and natural gas production. Much of the boom comes from expansive use of hydraulic fracturing. Basically, you drill, make tiny explosions and then blast water and "material" into the tiny spaces. The result? Oil and natural gas flow out. The problem is that no one knows what's in the fracking water and what the long-term impact might be. Already, regulators are ready to pounce, and expect the pressure to continue. If Congress forces oil and gas companies to open the Oz-like curtain of secrecy, these sexy shale plays could be in jeopardy.
2. Rare earth stocks come back down to earth.
Stocks in companies like Molycorp have already returned to earth \(budum-bum\). In 2012, they will actually begin to produce the not-so-rare but hard-to-mine metals. If the thesis behind the rare earth bulls comes to pass, the revenues for a Molycorp should spike late in the year. If they do as planed, the stock should revert back to its former lofty levels. If they don't, the rare-earth trade might be done before a lot of the companies have even started.
3. A jobs comeback in America? In manufacturing?
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