BY Lachlan Markay – George Soros, a billionaire investor and major backer of President Obama, stands to reap a windfall from legislation promoting natural gas-powered vehicles. The White House unveiled a proposal on Thursday that would do just that.
The proposal would offer incentives for companies to buy and use trucks powered by natural gas. Obama announced the effort at a UPS facility in Las Vegas that received stimulus funding to buy natural gas vehicles and build a fueling station for them.
The proposal is remarkably similar to the New Alternative Transportation to Give Americans Solutions (NAT GAS) Act.
One company that stands to benefit handsomely from the president’s proposal is Westport Innovations. The company converts diesel engines to be fueled by natural gas. Wall Street analysts predicted a boom for the company if the NAT GAS Act were passed. CNBC analyst Jim Cramer said he “expects shares to absolutely explode” in the event the legislation were to pass.
Jim Cramer made positive mention of Westport, calling it a solid play on natural gas should Congress pass its pending Natural Gas Act. Westport converts diesel engines (i.e. – those found in semi trailers) into ones that run on natural gas.
Benefiting Westport is that it’s: A) basically first to the market, at least in terms of mass production, and B) high barriers of entry for competition because of the complex technology involved in the transformations.
If Westport reaps the predicted windfall, one of the chief beneficiaries will be George Soros, a major Obama donor and supporter. Soros’s hedge fund holds 3,160,063 company shares (as of its last SEC filing).
Soros has given $384,090 to the Democratic Party, Democratic PACs, and Democratic Candidates in the three election cycles beginning in 2008, including $4,400 to Obama himself, according to the Center for Responsive Politics. He describes himself as “an early supporter of Barack Obama, first in his Senate campaign in Illinois and later when he ran for President. Soros supported Obama in his presidential bid because he believed he could provide the transformational leadership the country needed.”