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The cost of gasThe Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) just announced plans to further stiffen regulations on coal-fired power plants and the emission of carbons.

This can only mean bad news for companies with profits tied to coal, and good news for profits tied to natural gas and oil. The EPA’s move will ultimately increase the need for cleaner, more efficient producers of energy.

While solar and wind may have a purpose and contribution to the cause, the immediate beneficiary will be the explorers and developers of natural gas and oil Natural gas reserves in the U.S. have increased two-fold over the past 14 years; and shale and tight gas production has more than doubled in the last four years. According to the International Energy Association (IEA), we are sitting on a 2.2 quadrillion cubic feet of proven and recoverable oil.

Combine the reduction in coal power and shift away from imported oil and you have the perfect recipe for companies drilling in the most lucrative acres on U.S. soil: The natural gas-producing Marcellus is located in Pennsylvania, New York, Ohio, and West Virginia; it contains proved reserves of 32 trillion cubic feet. The Eagle Ford, Permian and Bakken make up the lion’s share of crude oil.

Here are three companies with a huge presence in these areas that stand to benefit . . . as will their shareholders:

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