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POLITICO New York Energy, presented by Nuclear Matters: New coalition to push for climate laws in Albany; pipeline gets funding

By David Giambusso and Scott Waldman

Good morning! Only POLITICO New York Pro subscribers receive an enhanced version of this email at 5:30 a.m. each weekday. If you'd like to receive it, along with a customized real-time news feed of New York energy policy news throughout the day, please contact us at newyork@politicopro.com and we'll set you up for trial access. Thank you for reading.

‘NY RENEWS’ TO TACKLE ALBANY — POLITICO New York’s David Giambusso: A coalition of national and state environmental activists, labor groups and community organizers are joining forces under the banner NY Renews and targeting Albany as a starting point to push for climate change laws they hope will set a standard for the rest of the country. http://politi.co/1RQQ1bS

STATE AWARDS $1.5M FOR UNAPPROVED PIPELINE PROJECT — POLITICO New York’s Scott Waldman: Even though the Department of Environmental Conservation has yet to approve the Constitution pipeline, the state has provided $1.5 million in funding for an offshoot pipeline. Developers are still waiting for the DEC to issue water quality certificates before they can begin construction on the 124-mile Constitution pipeline, which would carry natural gas fracked in Pennsylvania into New York and cross through Broome, Chenango, Delaware and Schoharie counties. http://politi.co/1RQQmeK

STATE GIVES $75M FOR WATER QUALITY — POLITICO New York’s Scott Waldman: The state has awarded $75 million in grants to fund water quality projects around New York, Gov. Andrew Cuomo announced Tuesday. The money is part of $200 million lawmakers included in last year’s budget negotiations for clean water initiatives. http://politi.co/1RQPSoW

** A Message from Nuclear Matters: Providing more than 61 percent of New York’s carbon-free electricity, nuclear energy plants play a vital role in achieving our clean-energy and carbon-reduction goals. New York’s nuclear energy fleet supports about 18,000 jobs and provides $2.5 billion to the state’s GDP. Learn more at NuclearMatters.com. **

AROUND NEW YORK:

--Denise D. Van Buren, VP of public relations for Central Hudson Gas & Electric Corp. writes in the Poughkeepsie Journal that upgrading power lines will “encourage sources of clean energy, enhance the resiliency and efficiency of the electric grid, and reduce electric rates here in the mid-Hudson Valley.” http://pojonews.co/1IT5PJ8

--RPA: RGGI is a model for climate change fight: The Regional Plan Association writes that New Jersey should return to RGGI and Quebec and Pennsylvania should go from observer status to full-time membership. http://bit.ly/1IT6kTq

--SolarCity admits that it funded a group that has criticized Arizona utility regulators for attacking solar policy in that state. http://bit.ly/1I7JCa2

--A SUNY professor is working to bring back a species of Galapagos tortoise that humans drove to extinction. http://nyti.ms/1TLwEPY

--A rash of shutdowns at the Indian Point nuclear facility may subject the Westchester plant to increased federal oversight. http://politi.co/1UwMY8c

--A Long Island business owner received a $50,000 credit from PSEG after his rates were misclassified. http://nwsdy.li/1QrpH8T

--Developers of a major natural gas transmission pipeline that could pass through southern Rensselaer County are looking at alternative locations for a compressor station. http://bit.ly/1O7K9v8

GOOD WEDNESDAY MORNING: Let us know anytime if you have tips, story ideas or life advice. We're always here at dgiambusso@politico.com and swaldman@politico.com. And if you like this letter, please tell a friend and/or loved one. Here’s a handy sign-up link: politi.co/1UqoEoB

CALIFORNIA SOLAR FEES: The California Public Utilities Commission has made what will likely be a much-discussed proposal to levy fees on rooftop solar customers as a national debate picks up over the practice of net-metering and how utilities compensate for lost revenue to solar while still maintaining the grid. http://lat.ms/1IT5vdu

SOLAR, WIND SHARES BOOSTED BY CREDIT EXTENSION — Bloomberg: “Shares of U.S. clean-energy companies jumped Tuesday as Congress neared a deal that would revive or extend tax credits for the wind and solar industries. SunEdison Inc., the world’s biggest renewable-energy developer, rose 13 percent at the close in New York while rooftop solar provider Sunrun Inc. gained 4.3 percent. http://bloom.bg/1IT6zOt

PARIS IN THE DEBATE: Rebecca Leber of the New Republic has another dispatch from the niche, How-many-times-did-the-GOP-talk-about-climate-change beat, post-Paris edition: “If you blinked, you would have missed the only time the Paris climate talks came up in the GOP debate. Republicans have been in their own orbit on climate change, curiously silent on it after 195 countries wrapped up a historic climate agreement in Paris. http://bit.ly/1RR1Lv4

THE ‘SHALL’ GREMLIN — POLITICO’s Andrew Restuccia: “Todd Stern said he doesn't know who swapped out "should" for "shall" in a late version of the Paris climate text, inserting a one-word edit into the proposal that would have rendered the deal dead in the U.S. "Somehow or another a gremlin got into the French typewriters and computers and the word popped out," Stern, the State Department's special envoy for climate change, said at a Center for American Progress event.

REMEMBERING MIAMI — The New Yorker’s Elizabeth Kolbert: “The city of Miami Beach floods on such a predictable basis that if, out of curiosity or sheer perversity, a person wants to she can plan a visit to coincide with an inundation. http://bit.ly/1Zb4pxN

ARCTIC WARMING FASTER — The Washington Post: “For a second straight year, the Arctic is warming faster than any other place in the world, and walrus populations in the area’s Pacific and Atlantic ocean regions are thinning along with the ice sheets that are critical for their survival, researchers reported Tuesday. http://wapo.st/1ITab2Z

SAN DIEGO TO GO 100 PERCENT RENEWABLE BY 2020 — The New York Times’ Matt Richtel: “Last weekend, representatives of 195 countries reached a landmark accord in Paris to lower planet-warming greenhouse gas emissions. On Tuesday, local leaders in San Diego committed to making a city-size dent in the problem. http://nyti.ms/1RQRdMs

BIG STORAGE — The Washington Post’s Chris Mooney: “AES, a large energy company headquartered in Arlington, Va., has announced a very large deal in the battery space. It is gaining access to 1 gigawatt-hour worth of lithium ion batteries from Seoul-based LG Chem, a chemicals giant that also has a strong business in making lithium ion batteries for electric and hybrid electric vehicles. http://wapo.st/1RQRxL5

DUKE TO DROP $130M IN CHARLOTTE SOLAR — The Charlotte Business Journal: “Duke Energy Corp. plans to build two large solar projects, with a combined capacity of more than 75 megawatts, in Monroe and Mocksville. These will be the first large solar projects owned and operated by Duke Energy Carolinas. Its sister utility, Duke Energy Progress, has four solar farms it will own and operate coming online this month or early next year. http://bit.ly/1Zb3Fsi

JAPAN SOLAR AUCTION — Bloomberg: “Japan is considering an auction process to allow solar power competitors to outbid each other for approvals to build large projects in an effort to drive down costs. http://bloom.bg/1RQRJtU

FUTURES:

--December Spring tanks natural gas: We were buying gas like it was 1999 on Tuesday, the Wall Street Journal reports.

"Natural-gas prices dropped to the lowest level since 1999, as concerns about weak demand continued to weigh on the market. Futures for January delivery settled down 7.2 cents, or 3.8%, on Tuesday at $1.822 a million British thermal units, the lowest settlement since March 24, 1999." http://on.wsj.com/1RQSlPZ

--Oil no longer in freefall: Supplies were somewhat diminished helping drag oil out of the crapper this week. Nicole Friedman of the Journal reports.

“Light, sweet crude for January delivery settled up $1.04, or 2.9%, to $37.35 a barrel on the New York Mercantile Exchange.” http://on.wsj.com/1RQSx1P

** A Message from Nuclear Matters: Some of America’s existing nuclear energy plants face early closure due to current economic and policy conditions. Providing more than 62% of America’s carbon-free electricity, existing, state-of-the-art nuclear energy plants play a vital role in achieving our clean-energy and carbon-reduction goals.

In New York, nuclear energy plants provide 31 percent of the state’s electricity and 61 percent of our carbon-free electricity. The existing nuclear energy plants in New York also support about 18,000 jobs and provide $2.5 billion to the state’s GDP.

If we want to keep New York working, we need policies that will keep New York’s state-of-the-art nuclear energy plants working for all of us. Join us at NuclearMatters.com **

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