Shares of ethanol producers jumped on Wednesday after the Environmental Protection Agency approved the use higher levels of ethanol concentrations in gasoline, which could offer a boost for makers of the corn-based fuel.
The EPA has authorized mixtures at the pump containing up to 15 percent ethanol, up from the current maximum blend of 10 percent. The EPA said the higher blend will be approved for vehicles manufactured since 2007.
The new rule could offer a boost to ethanol manufacturers, who were battered over the last year as prices collapsed due to overproduction and weak demand.
Shares of Pacific Ethanol Inc. rose 8 cents, or 8 percent, to $1.08 in afternoon trading. Green Plains Renewable Energy added 58 cents, or 5.1 percent, to $11.87. Greenhunter Energy Inc. rose 6 cents, or 8.9 percent, to 72 cents.
Aventine Renewable Energy Holdings Inc. gained 5 cents to $27.50. Bucking the trend, Verenium Corp. slipped 8 cents, or 2.3 percent, to $3.38.