Thursday is turning out to be a grand day for investors in renewable energy stocks, with shares of fuel cell stars FuelCell Energy (NASDAQ:FCEL) and Ballard Power (NASDAQ:BLDP) up 10.7% and 10.1%, respectively, in 1:35 p.m. EDT trading. Likewise, would-be electric truck maker Workhorse Group (NASDAQ:WKHS) is up 9.2%.
There's no particular news on any of these three stocks specifically, mind you (although rival fuel cell operator Bloom Energy just announced that it has deployed 10 megawatts-worth of fuel cells to the town of Colchester, Connecticut). But that doesn't really matter, because... infrastructure!
Yes, that's right folks. President Biden's ballyhooed $3.5 trillion on-again, off-again "antipoverty and climate" infrastructure bill is on again today -- albeit at a slimmed down size.
As NPR reports this afternoon, the president just visited Capitol Hill to propose cutting in half the size of this infrastructure bill (also often referred to as the "reconciliation bill" because it can be passed through a legislative reconciliation procedure that requires only 50 votes), to "only" $1.75 trillion in size.
Granted, with only half the money, Biden told reporters that "no one got everything they wanted, including me." In particular, it seems that funding for paid family leave, free community college, and lower prescription drugs costs all fell to the budget knife.
But the bill as now reframed does include such items as universal pre-K for all three- and four-year-olds, an extended child tax credit, and "more than $500 billion in spending on ... clean energy tax credits for rooftop solar, electric vehicles, clean energy production ... and investments in clean energy technology and manufacturing."
And that's the line that green energy investors were waiting to hear.
Granted, we don't know yet precisely how the $500 billion will be divvied up, or whether fuel cell companies or electric truck makers (or wind companies, or solar companies, or any of the others), will end up being the biggest winners from this government largesse. We don't even know for sure whether, just because the president has proposed to cut his infrastructure bill in half, it will now attract enough votes to pass the Senate, much less the House.
That being said, the president seems pretty certain that "after months of tough and thoughtful negotiations, I think we have, I know we have, a historic economic framework" that can win enough votes to become law. And for now, that's good enough news to make the clean energy crowd happy.