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POLITICO New York Energy, presented by Nuclear Matters: Transmission lines approved; greens petition EPA on Hudson dredging

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 and we'll set you up for trial access. Thank you for reading.

TRANSMISSION LINES TO BRING UPSTATE SOLAR, WIND TO NYC — Politico New York’s Scott Waldman: A series of transmission lines in the Hudson Valley will carry the power produced by upstate wind turbines and solar arrays into New York City. It will also provide a firm backbone for the traditional electrical grid, which will also be powered by fossil fuel sources for the foreseeable future.

GREEN GROUPS PETITION EPA ON HUDSON DREDGING — POLITICO New York’s Scott Waldman: A coalition of environmental groups is petitioning the federal Environmental Protection Agency to review the cleanup of PCBs from the Hudson River by General Electric. On Thursday, the groups filed a petition with the EPA to prevent the agency from letting GE walk away from extensive amount of PCBs that will be left in the river now that the years-long dredging project has been completed.

LIPA GETS NEW ETHICS OFFICER — Newsday’s Mark Harrington: “A top federal prosecutor from the Long Island area is headed to LIPA as an ethics officer. James Miskiewicz, who is the U.S. Attorney for the Eastern District’s deputy chief of the Long Island criminal division, will be named special counsel for ethics and risk, starting in January, according to Long Island Power Authority spokesman Sid Nathan.”

** 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 **


--Long Island solar gets a boost: Newsday’s Mark Harrington reports, “Long Island’s solar industry got a boost from LIPA Wednesday and expects another from Washington, as the utility lifted a local cap on specially metered solar installations, and Congress prepared to extend a key solar federal tax credit.”

--Three solar farms are proposed for the Batavia area.

--Those who fought against fracking in New York for seven long years on Thursday celebrated the one-year anniversary of the Cuomo administration ban.

--As anti-fracking activists celebrate the one year anniversary of the state’s fracking decision, the conservative media laments the loss of all the jobs it would have brought to the area.

--The federal Environmental Protection Agency is warning the residents of an upstate rural town not to drink the water because it may contain toxins.

HAPPY FRIDAY: Let us know anytime if you have tips, story ideas or life advice. We're always here at and And if you like this letter, please tell a friend and/or loved one. Here’s a handy sign-up link:

KOCHS AND KEYSTONE KILLERS UNITE ON SPENDING BILL — POLITICO’s Elana Schor: “The $1.1 trillion spending deal that Congress is set to pass as soon as Friday has pulled off a notable feat: It has united the left wing of the U.S. environmental movement and the Koch brothers, many liberals' Public Enemy No. 1.

--Vox’s Brad Plumer examines what the deal means for energy: “So ... is this a good trade? Bad trade? From a climate standpoint, this looks quite helpful in the near term. The wind and solar credits will reduce US greenhouse gas emissions moderately for the next half-decade (around 0.3 percent per year, by one estimate), at least until the EPA's Clean Power Plan takes effect. Conversely, few analysts expect the repeal of the export ban to matter much for the next few years, since conditions aren't currently favorable for exports.”

WINNERS AND LOSERS IN ENERGY TECH — The New York Times’ Diane Cardwell: “After months of taking a beating in the markets, renewable energy companies suddenly seemed to be on firmer footing this week, as lawmakers proposed extending important tax credits in exchange for lifting the decades-old ban on exporting American crude oil.”

CLINTON DENIES ‘HISTORY’ OF ACCEPTING ENERGY MONEY — The International Business Times’ Andrew Perez and David Sirota: “Hillary Clinton expressed surprise Wednesday when a voter at a town hall in Iowa demanded she stop taking money from the fossil fuel companies. ‘Well, I don't know that I ever have,’ Clinton said. ‘I'm not exactly one of their favorites.’”

ELECTRIC VEHICLES TO REPLACE GAS CARS BY 2034 — Business Insider’s Stephen Edelstein: “Increasingly-aggressive emissions targets will soon force automakers to build more plug-in electric cars. Norway has proposed all but eliminating new internal-combustion car sales by 2025, and a consortium of regional governments called the International ZEV Alliance has proposed to do the same in its jurisdictions by 2050.”

MEXICO ANNOUNCES OFFSHORE DRILLING AUCTION — The Wall Street Journal: “Mexican authorities on Thursday unveiled the first deep-water oil and gas blocks it will auction next year as part of a historic energy opening to foreign and private companies, hoping to draw tens of billions of dollars in investments for 10 areas in the Gulf of Mexico despite stubbornly low oil prices Energy Minister Pedro Joaquin Coldwell said the highly anticipated deep-water auction won’t be held until sometime late next year because of the adverse price environment, and to give global oil companies the time needed to study the seismic data the government will provide for the sites beginning in January.”

ENERGY, MINING STOCKS LEAD DOWNWARD MARKET SLIDE — The New York Times: “Stocks skidded Thursday as a late drop erased the market's gains from the day before. Companies that sell oil, gold and silver tumbled along with the prices of those commodities. Thursday's slide marked the end of a three-day winning streak.”

INEVITABLE MELTING — Inside Climate News: “The melting of polar ice sheets and mountain glaciers will likely continue for thousands of years, causing irreversible sea level rise, even if global warming is limited to 2 degrees Celsius, according to a new report published last week during the climate negotiations in Paris.”

RISING TEMPS WORSEN ALGAE BLOOMS — The Associated Press: “Some of the world’s biggest temperature jumps are happening in lakes — an ominous sign that suggests problems such as harmful algae blooms and low-oxygen zones hazardous to fish will get worse, says a newly released scientific report.”

ASIA NOT HOT ON US CRUDE — Bloomberg: “In the world’s biggest oil market, buyers have better options than U.S. crude. As the country inches toward ending the last restrictions on exports, Asian buyers will probably have a limited appetite for the quality of crude on offer.”


--Oil keeps falling on continued oversupply, the Wall Street Journal reports.

“Light, sweet crude for January delivery fell 57 cents, or 1.6%, to $34.95 a barrel on the New York Mercantile Exchange, the lowest settlement since February 2009. Brent, the global benchmark, fell 33 cents, or 0.9%, to $37.06 a barrel on ICE Futures Europe, the lowest level since December 2008.”

--Natural gas hitting historic lows: Warm weather and continued production are sending prices ever downward.

“Prices for the front-month January contract settled down 3.5 cents, or 2%, at $1.755 a million British thermal units on the New York Mercantile Exchange.”

** 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 **

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