Trump's surprise Christmas gift to Joe Biden still moves the markets

Trump’s surprise Christmas gift to Joe Biden still moves the markets

No one could predict what President Donald Trump would do in the final days of December 2020, and stunned onlookers could only wait and hope.

A lobbyist has recalled how he dared not raise the elephant in the room as Trump debated signing the $900 billion COVID stimulus bill.

“We didn’t want to give him an excuse not to sign it,” the lobbyist said.

They hoped that Trump wouldn’t notice a provision hidden deep within hundreds of pages of legislative text — a provision that would soon send a select group of stocks soaring to cap off a banner year.

“A huge victory for the planet”

The elephant in the room was, of course, the term “climate change”.

Clean energy activists and lobbyists – including Stephen Yurek, a coolant industry lobbyist – were afraid to point out that the bill contained a historic stimulus that would advance clean energy in the states. -United.

They worried that Trump — who had publicly despised clean energy — would reflexively veto any bill he saw as advancing “the Green New Deal” or any other part of Biden’s agenda.

Even so, for a time the passage of the bill appeared to be in serious doubt. Trump publicly called it a “shame”.

He said unemployment benefits were too meager. But he never condemned – or probably even noticed – the huge clean energy giveaways hidden in the gigantic bill.

And on December 28, 2020, the strategic silence of lobbyists, activists and lawmakers finally paid off… Trump signed the law sending $35 billion in clean energy tax credits and grants.

But the bill did much more than that. He pledged to phase out hydrofluorocarbons, a greenhouse gas several times more potent than carbon dioxide. Amazingly, that standard meant that Trump allowed the United States to abide by a Barack Obama-era hydrofluorocarbon phase-out treaty — the very treaty he renounced when he took office.

Clean Energy Cheerleaders Finally Celebrate

Rolling Stone called the law “a big win for the planet.” Michael Brune, executive director of the environmental group Sierra Club, called it “a light in the dark”. Another conservationist called it “perhaps the most important climate legislation Congress has ever passed.”

And clean energy stocks celebrated accordingly. Stocks of electric vehicles like Tesla Inc. (NASDAQ: TSLA) and Nikola Corp. (NASDAQ: NKLA) jumped 33% and 56%, respectively, in the following month. The fuel cell business Power socket inc. (NASDAQ: PLUG) rose 117%. The First Trust NASDAQ Clean Edge Green Energy Exchange-Traded Fund, which holds a basket of clean energy stocks across various sectors, rose 23.96% for the month.

But clean energy stocks face an even bigger catalyst today. In August, President Joe Biden signed into law the Cut Inflation Act — and with it, $369 billion in spending to advance clean energy in America.

If the $35 billion Trump poured into renewable energy in 2020 could help some clean energy stocks double in a month, what will $369 billion do for the sector as officials begin to roll it out?

One of the biggest clean energy opportunities today is in electric vehicle (EV) stocks. Biden’s Infrastructure Act is already spending $7.5 billion to create America’s first-ever national network of electric vehicle charging stations. This network will make it easier to travel long distances, whether across rural or urban America, without having to worry about running out of charge before finding an EV charging station, making so-called “range anxiety a thing of the past.

The law also grants a $7,500 tax credit to Americans who purchase electric vehicles, with only a few conditions. One is that automakers can only give this credit to the first 200,000 sales – meaning big names like Tesla and General Motors Co. (NYSE: GM) are now ineligible.

But for the electric vehicle startups that Benzinga follows, it’s a different story. Eli Electric Vehicles is preparing to ramp up production of its micro-electric vehicles – smaller, efficiency-conscious electric vehicles designed to help people get around crowded, urban environments with minimal hassle.

As the Biden administration targets its goal of electric vehicles accounting for 50% of all car sales by 2030, companies like Eli Electric are one to watch as a $369 billion tailwind fuels renewable energy stocks .

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