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New EPA rule boosts EnerNOC shares

NEW YORK (AP) -- Shares of energy services company EnerNOC Inc. jumped sharply on Tuesday after federal regulators issued final environmental rules that many shareholders see as helping the company.

THE SPARK: The Environmental Protection Agency has been drafting rules that will limit how long diesel generators can run without special environmental safeguards. The EPA had been widely expected to limit them to 15 hours per year, which would have hurt EnerNOC's business, Wedbush analyst Craig Irwin said on Tuesday. Instead, the EPA rule signed on Monday stuck with earlier language that allows the generators to run for 100 hours per year.

THE BIG PICTURE: Irwin said he expects the new rule to be challenged in court, so EnerNOC's ability to avoid tighter regulations may turn out to be short-lived. The new EPA rule has gotten close attention in the power-generation industry. It regulates things such as how often the oil and belts must be changed on power generators, how long they can run each year. The EPA rule says the allowance to run the generators 100 hours per year is aimed at allowing sufficient testing of the generators to make sure they're available to prevent blackouts.

SHARE ACTION: Up $2.64, or 21 percent, to $15.20 in afternoon trading after rising as high as $15.61 earlier. That was its highest level since August 2011. The shares were trading around $11.50 as recently as Friday morning, before beginning to rise later that day.