Shares of start-up lithium miner Lithium Americas (NYSE:LAC) had jumped 10.7% by 11 a.m. EST Wednesday, while more established lithium producer Albemarle (NYSE:ALB) had gained 4.6%. Elsewhere in the clean energy sector, eponymously named natural gas fuel distributor Clean Energy Fuels (NASDAQ:CLNE) was rising for its second day in a row, up 4.5%.
You can probably thank Georgia for that.
When it was Tesla's (NASDAQ:TSLA) big lithium supply agreement driving up shares of Lithium Americas, and Craig-Hallum's endorsement of Clean Energy stock boosting those shares, I thought there were other factors at work. But the big news this morning is that, with 98% of precincts reporting, Democrats appear to have swept both of Georgia's Senate races.
Assuming both Jon Ossoff and Raphael Warnock have indeed been elected, the U.S. Senate in 2021 will include 50 Republicans, 48 Democrats, two independents who lean left, and one Vice President Kamala Harris to cast the tie-breaking ballot in any party-line votes. Combined with a Democratic House of Representatives, and Joe Biden in the White House, this gives Democrats complete control of two of the three branches of government.
And it opens the path to a Green New Deal.
What would that mean for Lithium Americas, Albemarle, and Clean Energy Fuels stocks? It could mean federal subsidies for the lithium-ion batteries that power electric cars and that store the energy collected by solar panels and wind turbines, and for government programs that would encourage both corporations and consumers to buy both. It could also mean additional government support for "alternative fuels," such as compressed and liquefied natural gas, being used instead of gasoline to power automobiles.
Now, will a Green New Deal make Albemarle stock a buy at 45 times trailing earnings, Clean Energy a buy at 51 times earnings, and Lithium Americas stock a buy at infinity times the earnings it doesn't have? I won't go that far. But even if it took a couple months getting here, the promised 2021 "blue wave" has in fact finally arrived, and with Democrats now in control in Washington, D.C., the prospects for renewable energy stocks have undeniably improved.