As the political landscape in Washington ebbs from healthcare issues, debate over how to resolve U.S. energy independence will surely emerge. One sector to consider is the abundant resource of natural gas in the clean energy space.
Natural gas produces up to 30% lower greenhouse gas emissions than gasoline and costs less per gallon in light and medium-duty vehicles. Two stocks to consider in the natural gas sector are Westport Innovations (NASDAQ:WPRT) and Clean Energy Fuels (NASDAQ:CLNE).
Westport Innovations makes fuel injection systems and engines for gaseous fuels, including compressed natural gas, liquefied natural gas, and hydrogen-enriched compressed natural gas.
Since mid-February insider Kevin Douglas’s buying of over 1.1 million shares of WPRT in ten transactions has recently raised its stock price by 40%.
Clean Energy Fuels sells natural gas to buses and trucks in North America. Its customer base includes shuttle, taxi, trucking and municipal fleet markets with fueling stations across the U.S. and Canada. Its majority owner is T. Boone Pickens, whose purchase of two natural-gas fueling stations at the airports of Los Angeles and Phoenix were the beginnings of CLNE. They have now grown to over 200 locations in 23 states with 50 more stations in the works.
Much of the “Pickens Plan” for oil independence hinges on Congress enacting the energy bill that subsidizes the conversion of trucks to natural gas. Clean Energy Fuels would potentially be the natural gas supplier to fuel these vehicles.
CLNE has quadrupled in the past 12 months, currently trading around $19, with a market capitalization of $1.3 billion.