Checking In on the Fate of Green ETFs as Legislation Moves Through Congress

by: Tom Lydon

Congress has yet to pass a comprehensive new energy bill, but Senate Democrats are meeting behind closed doors to itemize a list of proposals that could breathe new life into alternative-energy ETFs. Still, the road to an all-encompassing energy bill will be arduous and long.

President Barack Obama has summoned eight senators to the White House for broad, bipartisan talks concerning energy legislation. He has also sat down with Sen. Scott Brown (R-Mass.), a swing vote on several key issues this year, reports Lisa Mascaro for The Los Angeles Times.

Some senators are focusing on energy efficiency provisions and renewable energy sources, such as wind and solar. Others have suggested a trimmed-down version of carbon pricing that only covers utilities. Obama is pushing for a cap-and-trade system that would set limits on the amount of greenhouse gases that can be emitted by utilities and other industries, taxing entities that exceed carbon limits. Currently, pollsters show strong public support for placing carbon caps on industries in the wake of the environmental disaster unfolding in the Gulf of Mexico.

On Thursday, Senate Democrats came out of a special session on energy and climate legislation with no clear consensus for overhauling the country’s energy policies and reducing greenhouse emissions, writes Darren Samuelsohn for Politico. There will be another meeting tentatively scheduled for next week.

Democrats insist that there are no decisions made on whether to advance a climate and energy bill that includes pricing greenhouse gas emissions. They are still fiddling around with a bill that would be agreeable to moderates on both sides.

It should be noted that, despite Obama’s calls, alternative-energy, solar and wind ETFs are well below their 200-day moving averages, making them unappealing right now. Companies are not yet very profitable, but once they move above their 200-day average, they have potential to do well.

  • PowerShares WilderHill Clean Energy (NYSEARCA:PBW)
  • PowerShares Global Clean Energy (NYSEARCA:PBD)
  • First Trust NASDAQ Clean Edge Green Energy (NASDAQ:QCLN)
  • iShares S&P Global Clean Energy Index (NASDAQ:ICLN)
  • Market Vectors Global Alternative Energy Fund (NYSEARCA:GEX)
  • Claymore/MAC Global Solar (NYSEARCA:TAN)
  • Market Vectors Solar Energy ETF (NYSEARCA:KWT)
  • First Trust Global Wind Energy (NYSEARCA:FAN)
  • PowerShares Global Wind Energy (NASDAQ:PWND)

Max Chen contributed to this article.

Disclosure: None