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POLITICO New York Energy, presented by Nuclear Matters: Iranian hackers; wild weather

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.

IRAN HACKERS TAKE CREDIT FOR DAM BREACH — NBC News: “An Iranian hactivist group has claimed responsibility for a cyberattack that gave it access to the control system for a dam in the suburbs of New York — and intrusion that one official said may be "just the tip of the iceberg."

** 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 **


--National Grid completed a lighting retrofit at its Syracuse facility, the Business Journal News Network reports.

--Op-ed: Save the Stepping Stone Lighthouse: Karen Rubin, writing in The Island Now, makes a case for saving the North Hempstead lighthouse through the prism of Charles Dickens’ A Christmas Carol.

--NRDC happens to like New York: Kit Kennedy of the Natural Resources Defense Council blogs that New York had a banner year for clean energy.

--Kinder Morgan has hired a lobbying and communications firm in Albany as it pushed to build a massive pipeline across New York.

--Green infrastructure delivers environmental benefits, Scenic Hudson opines in the Journal News.

HAPPY HOLIDAYS! We will be signing off until Monday, but 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:

A YEAR OF WILD WEATHER — InsideClimate News: “From heat waves to cyclones, flooding to drought, 2015 proved to be a wild year for extreme weather across the globe. Millions of acres of forests burned. Thousands of people died from heat and thousands more lost their homes to flooding and storm surges. In August, fueled by global warming and El Nino, three major hurricanes were spinning in the Pacific at once. To top it off, the world had its hottest year on record, breaking the record set in 2014 and shattering heat records on every continent, including Antarctica.”

AMAZON WATERS AS IMPORTANT AS TREES — The Washington Post’s Chelsea Harvey: “When it comes to conservation efforts, few regions of the Earth have garnered as much attention as the Amazon. Considering that it’s home to the world’s largest remaining rain forest and some of the highest levels of biodiversity on the planet, halting deforestation in the Amazon basin has been a major priority of environmentalists around the globe.”

METHANE LEAK IN CALIFORNIA GETTING SERIOUS — The Washington Post’s Joby Warrick: “A runaway natural gas leak from a storage facility in the hills above Los Angeles is shaping up as a significant ecological disaster, state officials and experts say, with more than 150 million pounds of methane pouring into the atmosphere so far and no immediate end in sight.”

ANALYSIS: THE NARROW PATH TO A CARBON TAX — The Wall Street Journal’s Greg Ip: “Having agreed to ambitious new targets for reducing emissions of greenhouse gases in Paris, the world’s nations now need a way to hit those targets. There’s no dispute among economists on the most cost-effective way to do that: a carbon tax. President Barack Obama agrees. In Paris he called such a tax 'the most elegant way' to incentivize investment in, and consumer demand for, cleaner energy technology.”

CHILEAN WIND — Bloomberg: Enel Green Power SpA, the renewable-energy unit of Italy’s largest utility, started construction on a 112-megawatt wind farm in the Antofagasta region of Chile. Enel will invest $215 million to build the Sierra Gorda facility, the Rome-based company said Monday in a statement. The wind farm is expected to be completed by the end of 2016. Once fully operational, the facility will generate enough energy to meet the power consumption needs of about 130,000 Chilean households. Enel Green Power currently operates a total of 600 megawatts of wind, solar and hydroelectric installed capacity in Chile.

GAZPROM CHASTENED — Bloomberg: “Gazprom, the state-controlled, Moscow-based natural gas giant has long played a double role: as an instrument of Kremlin foreign policy; and as a major source of tax revenue for Vladimir Putin’s government. Things have changed. Gazprom has long been accustomed to dictating terms because of its size. In the European Union, it supplies about 30 percent of the gas. But with a 70 percent drop in profits, the Russian company finds itself fighting to protect its share of a market it depends on for as much as a third of its revenue of $100 billion.”

INDIA’S NUKE BOOM — Reuters’ Sanjeev Miglani and Paritosh Bansal: “India expects to seal a contract with Westinghouse Electric Co LLC to build six nuclear reactors in the first half of next year, a senior government official said, in a sign its $150 billion dollar nuclear power programme is getting off the ground.”


--Oil rallies: Christmas came early for crude oil futures, with supply data showing a significant decrease in stockpiles, the Wall Street Journal reports.

“Light, sweet crude for February delivery gained $1.36, or 3.8%, to $37.50 a barrel on the New York Mercantile Exchange. Brent, the global benchmark, gained $1.25, or 3.5%, to $37.36 a barrel on ICE Futures Europe.”

--Natural gas boosted too: The Journal reports that it may actually get cold again sometime this winter, goosing natural gas prices.

“Prices for the front-month January contract settled up 9.5 cents, or 5%, at $1.983 a million British thermal units on the New York Mercantile Exchange, the highest settlement since Dec. 11. Gas set a new inflation adjusted low for its history of Nymex trading on Thursday, but gained ground now in three of four sessions since, up 13% during that span.”

** 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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