4 Potential Biofuel Winners From EPA Targeting Aircraft Emissions

Jon C. Ogg

Renewable Energy Group Inc. (NASDAQ: REGI) was up 2% at $12.51 in late Wednesday trading. It has a 52-week range of $8.10 to $12.80 and a market cap of $550 million. Renewable Energy Group has 10 active biorefineries across the country that will help it become a long-term leader in bio-based fuels and chemicals. REG Synthetic Fuel’s renewable diesel technology converts renewable feedstocks into ultra-clean and environmentally friendly renewable synthetic diesel fuel, renewable synthetic jet fuel and more.

Solazyme Inc. (NASDAQ: SZYM) shows on its website that it has developed advanced biofuels derived from microalgae that burn cleaner and perform better than petroleum-based fuels — with one focal point on environmental impact without requiring engine modifications for use. Will it be a jet fuel player ahead, or will it focus on land-based vehicles? Solazyme shares were up 2.5% to $3.39 late on Wednesday, also with a volatile 52-week range of $2.00 to $12.44. Its market cap is $275 million.

Amyris Inc. (NASDAQ: AMRS) was up 2% at $2.00 on thin volume, within a 52-week range of $1.56 to $4.50. This $159 million market cap company is involved in many areas, but the its website does show that it is currently selling renewable diesel in metropolitan areas in Brazil and our renewable jet fuel with its partner TOTAL around the world.

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Again, this could still be years ahead, and many issues could derail cleaner and renewable attempts to replace traditional jet fuel. There is also no assurance that any of the companies mentioned here or elsewhere actually will emerge as winners in cleaner jet fuel.

New proposals are said to not apply to recreational planes, nor do they apply to military aircraft. The EPA release said:

U.S. aircraft emit roughly 11 percent of GHG emissions from the U.S. transportation sector and 29 percent of GHG emissions from all aircraft globally. In 2009, EPA determined that GHG pollution from cars and light trucks threatens Americans’ health and welfare by leading to long-lasting changes in our climate that can have a range of negative effects. Since then, the body of science on human-induced climate change has strengthened, supporting today’s proposed finding — under a different section of the Clean Air Act — that GHGs emitted from aircraft engines contribute to pollution that causes climate change endangering public health and welfare. Today’s action supports the goals of the President’s Climate Action Plan to reduce emissions from large sources of carbon pollution.

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