NEW YORK ( TheStreet) -- "It's time to unlearn the lessons of 2008," Jim Cramer told the viewers of his "Mad Money" TV show Wednesday. He said it's time to think more positively and react more rationally to market downturns. "When did panic become a trading strategy?" asked Cramer, as he pleaded with viewers to forget the past and turn over a new leaf. He said the lessons learned in the 2008 recession, mainly "shoot first, then shoot again," simply no longer apply to this market. Cramer said that seven weeks ago, the market was predicting that all of Europe would cease to exist, and fall into financial oblivion. Yet just seven weeks later, companies like FedEx ( FDX), VMWare ( VMW) and Eaton ( ETN), along with dozens of others have told us that things in Europe aren't so bad after all. Cramer said the panic strategy worked for awhile in 2008, and investors needed to duck and run at every sign of weakness or risk being wiped out completely. But now, he said, the recession is over, and pullbacks are a time to buy, not a time to jump out the window. Cramer admitted there are still lots of problems here in America, and the government's anti-business stance in favor of the little guy isn't helping the economy at large. Buy, he noted that while the U.S. economy is sluggish and will be for some time, there are a bunch of other countries around the globe that are doing much better. And it's those countries that are helping our companies report great earnings. "The panic strategy is hurting us," Cramer told viewers, adding it's time to be more positive.
Hopeful SignsCramer spoke with Rep. John Larson, D., Conn., about the new, scaled-down energy bill that's working its way through Congress, one that is bringing American- made natural gas to the forefront. Cramer explained that with the larger energy bill, which included cap and trade, now dead in the Senate, the more modest bill is now nearing a vote in the Senate, and is likely to pass. This new bill currently includes $4 billion of new incentives for converting to natural gas. Larson called the energy bill great news for America, and said he expects any remaining issues between the Senate and House versions of the bill to be reconciled quickly. He said getting off foreign oil should be the No. 1 priority for the country and this bill is a giant leap forward. Larson explained that natural gas is abundant, accessible, available and most importantly, ours. He said for every 18-wheeler that's converted to natural gas, the equivalent of 382 cars are taken off the road, and that's significant. Larson said with over a 200-year supply of gas in America, natural gas has to be the cornerstone of our energy policy, along with all other forms of energy including nuclear power. Cramer agreed, and commended Larson for his efforts to bring natural gas to the forefront as a bridge fuel towards the future.
Getting Closer to Energy IndependenceIn the "Executive Decision" segment, Cramer spoke with Andrew Littlefair, president and CEO of Clean Energy Fuels ( CLNE), which is set to benefit from the new energy bill, as it's estimated 100,000 new natural gas trucks will be on the road in three years. Littlefair said this is the first time Congress has taken action towards energy independence and the new bill will get the ball rolling for the entire natural gas industry. He said the eight million heavy duty trucks in America use 35 billion gallons of fuel every year, and while 250 million lighter vehicles consume 100 billion gallons a year, targeting the trucks makes a huge impact. Littlefair said the new bill will give fleet operators the incentive they need to convert their trucks to natural gas, where they'll save $1 a gallon on fuel. Once production for gas trucks increases, he said, the incentives will no longer be needed. When asked about the need for natural gas fueling stations, Littlefair said that 85% of all trucking is regional, less than 350 miles a day. Based on that model, he said, fueling stations can be built in clumps around truck stops, with most stations taking only six months to build. "The infrastructure will come," he said. In addition to the energy independence and environmental issues, Littlefair also said the new energy bill is a huge creator of jobs, with over 500,000 new jobs expected once it's passed. Cramer reiterated his buy on Clean Energy Fuels, along with Westport Innovations ( WPRT), Cummins ( CMI) and Fuel Systems Solutions ( FSYS), all of which play a part in the natural gas revolution.