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By David Giambusso and Scott Waldman
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RYE BROOK OFFICIALS STILL PUZZLING OVER HACKER’S HYDROELECTRIC DAM BREACH—The New York Times’ Joseph Berger: “The mayor, despite being puzzled by Rye Brook’s role in the alleged plot, had several theories about why the village’s sluice-gate dam had been singled out. One was that the Iranian hackers had confused the structure with another named Bowman — the Arthur R. Bowman Dam on the Crooked River in Oregon, which is 245 feet tall and 800 feet long, and is used to irrigate a large swath of local farms. Mayor Rosenberg also speculated that the hackers had gone after the Rye Brook dam in a dry run for a more disruptive invasion of, say, a major hydroelectric generator or some other grand and indispensable element of the nation’s power grid.” http://nyti.ms/1pEdlis
A CLOSER LOOK AT THE NED PIPELINE—WBUR’s Bruce Gellerman: “Earlier this month, the U.S. Department of Energy approved plans permitting companies to export gas from Massachusetts to Canada and beyond. Opponents of the construction of two new natural gas pipelines in Massachusetts claim the DOE’s decision demonstrates that the state already has enough natural gas and doesn’t need new pipelines. But proponents say building the new pipelines — costing $8 billion — will actually save ratepayers money and secure the region’s energy future.” http://wbur.fm/1QHyBQt
AROUND NEW YORK:
--Fish are returning to the Carmans River on Long Island after an environmental cleanup. http://nwsdy.li/1WSozuC
--NRC coming to Jersey: “The public will have a chance to meet with the federal regulators who oversee the operations of the three nuclear power plants located in Salem County this week,” NJ.com reports. http://bit.ly/1ZFKIOx
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MAJOR WIND PROJECT APPROVED—The New York Times’ Diane Cardwell: “A major transmission project aimed at bringing wind energy out of the Texas and Oklahoma panhandle cleared a significant hurdle on Friday as the Energy Department announced it would allow the project to go forward. The development, led by Clean Line Energy Partners, had been delayed because of resistance from state lawmakers, but the federal decision is a green light for the project. The decision also signals that the Obama administration remains committed to encouraging the spread of renewable energy, seen as a major component of reaching national goals on stemming climate change.” http://nyti.ms/1UnkD7q
STATE DIALING BACK SOLAR INCENTIVES—The Wall Street Journal’s Cassandra Sweet: “Many U.S. states are considering dialing back solar-power incentives amid growing pressure from local electric utilities, potentially dealing a blow to the companies that install home solar systems around the country. More than 900,000 homes across the U.S. are equipped with solar panels, with most of those homeowners able to sell any excess electricity their houses generate back to the utility, helping reduce the cost of home solar panels by up to 30%. But the price solar customers get paid for that extra renewable power through so-called net metering is starting to fall, as several states, including Nevada and Hawaii, have slashed their solar subsidies.” http://on.wsj.com/1RBfEZV
GAS PRICES STILL CLIMBING—The New York Times’ Clifford Krauss: “With gasoline prices at their lowest point for the Easter weekend since 2004, holiday travelers have something to cheer about. But they better fill up their tanks fast. Prices at the pump are climbing quickly as oil prices firm and the summer driving season approaches. On Thursday, the national average for a gallon of regular gasoline rose above $2 a gallon for the first time since Dec. 31 — albeit by only a penny. Across the country, according to the AAA motor club, drivers are paying 31 cents more per gallon than only a month ago.” http://nyti.ms/1pS4ydn
RENEWABLES BREAK RECORDS—Mashable’s Andrew Freedman: “In the latest indication that renewable energy sources like solar and wind power are ascendant worldwide, a new report finds that, in 2015, a record-breaking $286 billion was invested in renewable energy capacity worldwide. This translated into 134 gigawatts of renewable power added worldwide last year, compared to just 87 gigawatts two years ago. his was more than double the $130 billion that went toward coal and natural gas, according to the data produced by Bloomberg New Energy Finance, the Frankfurt School and the U.N. Environment Program.” http://on.mash.to/1XWIYip
FOR ENERGY COMPANIES, LOCATION IS KEY—The Wall Street Journal’s Ryan Dezember: “For energy investors, it is all about location, location, location. That is the message that emerges in the prices of bonds of oil-and-gas companies operating across North America. Bonds of companies with below-investment-grade credit ratings, or junk bonds, have held up best for producers in west Texas, Canada and parts of Oklahoma, as producers in those regions have proven relatively resilient to low commodity prices, according to data from Citi Research, part of Citigroup Inc.” http://on.wsj.com/1q9Tzfl
BARGAIN PRICES — The Wall Street Journal: “Energy companies tapping the stock market to fill their coffers are deepening the pain for shareholders. These firms have come to rely on selling new shares to pay down debt and keep rigs drilling since oil and gas prices began tumbling in late 2014. The further commodity prices and energy stocks slid, the more shares that companies have had to sell at ever lower prices to raise the desired proceeds. This has further diluted the stakes held by existing shareholders, who are already suffering from falling share prices. North American oil and gas producers have raised more than $10 billion selling new shares this year.” http://on.wsj.com/1LSBR9T
IRAN: WE DIDN’T BREAK YOUR DAM — UPI: “The United States has no place to accuse countries of engaging in cyberattacks, the Iranian foreign ministry said in a statement Saturday while denying it engaged in cyber warfare against U.S. interests. The U.S. government charged seven Iranians on March 24 with a series of cyber assaults on American banks and a dam in New York state between 2011 and 2013, drawing the response from the Iranian foreign minister.” http://bit.ly/1LSAyrH
ISRAEL COURT BLOCKS GAS FIELD — The New York Times: “ Israel’s High Court of Justice struck down on Sunday a deal that Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu reached in December to enable the development of a major offshore natural gas field. The gas trove, called Leviathan, has the potential to transform Israel into an exporter of the fuel, but it has been plagued by delays. The court specifically objected to a part of the agreement between the government and the project’s developers, which are led by Noble Energy, that prohibits changes to regulations affecting the project for 10 years.” http://nyti.ms/1LSAwzW
--Oil prices fell Friday: If you bet on too much supply, we hope you bet something valuable.
“The benchmark U.S. oil contract ended down 0.8% at $39.46 a barrel on the New York Mercantile Exchange—its third losing session in a row, now down nearly 5% from its 2016 peak set earlier in the week. The market fell early in the session and pared losses over the course of the day but never turned positive, coming on top of a 4% decline Wednesday. The global Brent contract fell 0.1% to $40.44 a barrel on the ICE Futures Europe exchange.” http://bit.ly/1ZFKVBm
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