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By David Giambusso and Scott Waldman
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YOUNG: MORE MONEY FOR PLANT CLOSURES — POLITICO’s Scott Waldman: Republican state Sen. Cathy Young said Monday the state budget should include more funding for communities facing power plant closures, and that she expects to push for it during negotiations. Young, who chairs the chamber’s finance committee, said the possible closure of the Dunkirk coal-burning power plant in her Western New York district would rob the town of a primary source of its finances. Losing those tax payments, she said, would mean the loss of 60 teachers from the school district, and that half of Dunkirk’s annual budget comes from NRG. “I’ll be looking to gather some funding through the state budget,” Young said. “We put together a stressed-communities fund last year to help Dunkirk out and other communities around the state, because I know how devastating the impact is.” http://politi.co/22sOqA6
RHODE ISLAND WIND FARMS FORESHADOWS LI PUSH — Newsday’s Mark Harrington: “The event at [Rhode Island’s] Port of Providence terminal Friday preceded a series of planned rallies by Long Island’s renewable energy advocates calling for the Long Island Power Authority, PSEG Long Island and the state to get behind a proposed 90-megawatt project to power the East End [of Providence] At a rally Monday morning in Uniondale, environmentalists released a survey showing 93 percent of East End residents favor a proposed wind farm over fossil fuel plants. More than 100 people packed a LIPA trustee meeting and many spoke passionately about the need for LIPA to move away from fossil-fuel plants. ‘We’re tired of waiting,’ said activist Adrienne Esposito. ‘I hear you,’ said trustee Jeff Greenfield. ‘I’m supportive of what you’re saying.’ LIPA has rejected two offshore wind proposals.” http://nwsdy.li/1UgvNeq
AROUND NEW YORK:
--Three arrested after ATV accident on PSEG property: Patch reports “Three young men faces charges after authorities say they illegally rode ATVs on PSEG Long Island property in Shoreham and then one of them ran over the leg of a officer while they attempted to flee.” http://bit.ly/1UgjWNk
--Former Assemblyman Arthur “Jerry” Kremer thanks all the elected officials in New York who continue to support Indian Point. http://bit.ly/22z4DQV
--The town of Bethlehem expects to save $5 million to $7 million with a new solar facility. http://bit.ly/1Pnrrtu
--"The National Waste & Recycling Association (NWRA) has appointed Kendall Christiansen as manager of its New York City chapter.” http://bit.ly/1RgKQOT
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NUCLEAR POWER LOSING POPULARITY — Vox’s Brad Plumer: “For all its problems and setbacks over the years, nuclear power has long been broadly popular in the United States. But there are signs that may be changing. A new Gallup poll finds that, for the first time since the survey began, a majority of Americans are now opposed to nuclear energy — a source that still provides 20 percent of the nation's electricity. Interestingly, the reactor meltdown in Fukushima, Japan, in 2011 didn't seem to have much effect on US popular opinion (as it did in Germany, Japan, and other countries). Instead, writes Gallup's Rebecca Riffkin, the biggest change seems to be the plunge in gasoline prices over the past year.” http://bit.ly/1Uyw37X
CALIFORNIA OFFSHORE WIND — Bloomberg’s Brian Eckhouse: “The U.S. Bureau of Ocean Energy Management is evaluating a proposal for the first offshore wind project in California. The agency said Trident Winds LLC is qualified to develop its proposed 800-megawatt wind farm, and will now determine if other companies are interested in the lease area, according to a statement Monday. If so, BOEM will initiate a competitive bidding process for the site about 33 nautical miles northwest of Morro Bay. If not, it will move forward with a noncompetitive leasing process. Trident submitted an unsolicited proposal in January, a sign of growing interest in harnessing wind energy in U.S. coastal waters. While offshore wind farms are common in Europe, they cost about twice as much to build as standard wind projects on land and have not yet caught on in the U.S.” http://bloom.bg/1RgKuYH
SOLAR RIVERS — The Los Angeles Times’ Carolina A. Miranda: “Los Angeles is not the only city that has encased its river in concrete. The Tijuana River, like the Los Angeles River, is a once free-flowing body of water restrained by a cement canal. This bit of engineering has had the predictable effect of flushing water that might be repurposed straight out to the ocean. And as in Los Angeles, it's also contributed to an urban heat island effect. Los Angeles has been examining the role its river can play in the city's greater ecology. Even architect Frank Gehry is involved in a makeover for the L.A. River. In Tijuana, another architect is devising a plan to turn the Tijuana River channel into a solar farm that could provide power to as many as 30,000 homes.” http://lat.ms/1PnmcKq
LARGE HOOFPRINT — The Washington Post’s Chris Mooney: “A striking new study — but one that is bound to prove controversial — has provided a calculation of both the health benefits and the reductions in planetary greenhouse gases that might be achieved if the world shifted away from meat-based diets. The results, while theoretical in nature, certainly make a strong case for treating the food system, and animal agriculture in particular, as a key part of the climate change issue. Namely, the researchers find that shifting diets toward eating more plant-based foods on a global scale could reduce between 6 and 10 percent of mortality — saving millions of lives and billions of dollars — even as it also cuts out 29 to 70 percent of greenhouse gas emissions linked to food by the year 2050.” http://wapo.st/1PnnpRY
DUKE’S POOP POWER — Bloomberg’s Joe Ryan: “Duke Energy Corp., the largest U.S. utility owner, is planning to use methane from pig and poultry waste to generate electricity at four North Carolina plants. The company agreed to buy methane from a biogas facility that Carbon Cycle Energy LLC plans to build in the eastern part of the state, Charlotte-based Duke said in a statement Monday. The site will convert agricultural and industrial waste into biomethane. The deal will help Duke comply with North Carolina’s renewable energy portfolio standard that requires utilities to use power from agricultural waste.” http://bloom.bg/1Pnqv8v
OHIO WATER GRANT — The Associated Press: “The U.S. Department of Agriculture has agreed to pay for improvements at an Ohio village’s water treatment plant to help stop corrosive water from leaching lead into tap water. Officials announced Monday that Sebring will receive $400,000 from the USDA to pay for technology that will alert plant operators to add chemicals when the water becomes too acidic. Sebring is about 60 miles southeast of Cleveland. It came under scrutiny in January when schools closed and pregnant women and small children were warned not to drink tap water after high lead levels were found in some homes.” http://wapo.st/1Pno9GJ
NEW BUTTERFLY COULD HOLD CLUES TO CLIMATE CHANGE — The Washington Post's Elahe Izadi: “Researchers discovered a possible new butterfly species in Alaska and believe it could tell us more about the pace of climate change. The Tanana Arctic, or Oeneis tanana, likely evolved from a rare hybrid when two butterflies species mated before the last ice age, according to a study published last week in the Journal of Research on the Lepidoptera. While the butterfly could help shed light on the North American Arctic’s geological history, it can also serve as a sort of canary in the coalmine when it comes to current and future environmental changes. That’s because butterflies, which are sensitive to climate changes and react rapidly to them, are considered environmental indicators.” http://wapo.st/1PnpU6P
BP, STATOIL REMOVE WORKERS FROM ALGERIA AFTER ATTACKS — The New York Times’ Clifford Krauss: “BP and the Norwegian oil company Statoil announced on Monday that they were withdrawing their employees from two of Algeria’s largest natural gasfields after Islamic terrorists staged the second attack in three years on their installations. In the attack on Friday, a rocket-propelled grenade attack hit the In Salah natural gas field and processing plant in Krechba, 750 miles south of Algiers. BP, a British company, and Statoil operate the installation jointly with the Algerian national oil company Sonatrach.” http://nyti.ms/1PnmSPN
WHAT HAPPENS WHEN OIL HITS $50 — James Burgess for Business Insider: “The major beneficiary of the 54 percent jump in oil prices from the lows of $26 per barrel is the U.S. shale oil industry, which will utilize this rise to ramp up production and repair balance sheets. But any move above $45 per barrel will likely reverse all this good luck: The drop in production will halt and more will be added to the supply glut. It’s a bit of a double-edged sword. Speculation of a production freeze/cut by the combined cartel of Russia and the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) fueled the current rise in crude oil prices, though, uncertainty about Iran’s participation remains.” http://read.bi/1Ugv7Wq
OIL PRICES SLOWING PIRACY—The Huffington Post’s Alexander Kauffman: “Oil companies aren’t the only ones scaling down operations in the face of low oil prices.
Pirate attacks on oil tankers in the Gulf of Guinea fell by 29 percent last year, in part because the cheaper cargo just isn’t worth the danger posed by increased naval security off the west African coast. ‘Since the price dropped, there has been a decline in piracy and the numbers are there,’ Bolaji Akinola, a maritime consultant based in Lagos, Nigeria, said in a segment that aired Sunday on NPR. ‘The low oil price is a deterrence. It’s not much of a worthwhile venture any longer.’ The number of attacks — which include theft, kidnapping and hijacking — fell to 49 in 2015 from 69 the previous year, according to data from Dryad Maritime, a U.K.-based consultancy.” http://huff.to/1RvqQaz
--Oil prices rose, though not much changed in the markets Monday, the Wall Street Journal reports.
“The U.S. oil benchmark for April delivery rose 1.2% to settle at $39.91 a barrel on the New York Mercantile Exchange. The April contract expired with the close of trading Monday; most of the trading volume in the market has moved forward into the May contract, which ended 0.9% higher at $41.52 a barrel. The market wavered between gains and losses throughout the day but turned solidly positive in the final minutes of the session. The global Brent contract rose 0.8% to $41.54 a barrel on the ICE Futures Europe exchange.” http://on.wsj.com/1PnsF84
--Natural gas falls on continued weak demand, the Journal reports.
“Natural gas futures for April delivery ended down 4.1% at $1.8280 a million British thermal units on the New York Mercantile Exchange. Natural gas prices rallied 18% from a 17-year low early this month but have since given back more than 5% of those gains as weak demand and booming production have left the market well oversupplied.” http://on.wsj.com/1PnsNo4
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