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POLITICO New York Energy, presented by Nuclear Matters: Hoosick Falls hearings canceled; Exxon strikes back

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.

ASSEMBLY HEARINGS ON HOOSICK FALLS SCUTTLED, FOR NOW — POLITICO New York’s Scott Waldman: The proposed state hearings on the Hoosick Falls water crisis, which would have likely resulted in numerous unflattering headlines for the Cuomo administration, appear to have been scuttled. The state Assembly was scheduled to hold water quality hearings this month, but nothing is on the calendar and Democratic lawmakers can’t say if they’ll ever be scheduled. The hearings, proposed by a bipartisan group of lawmakers in February, would have had a broader statewide focus, centering on clean water and water infrastructure in the state. http://politi.co/1qSXi1e

EXXON STRIKES BACK ON SCHNEIDERMAN PROBE — The Wall Street Journal’s Amy Harder, Devlin Barrett and Bradley Olson: “Exxon Mobil Corp. went to court Wednesday to challenge a government investigation of whether the company conspired to cover up its understanding of climate change.” http://on.wsj.com/1Q7qTIF

CLINTON CALLS FOR ENVIRONMENTAL JUSTICE, INCLUDING NYC — POLITICO New York’s Dana Rubinstein: Decrying the lead in Flint’s water and the state of infrastructure in impoverished America, Hillary Clinton on Wednesday announced “a new plan to fight for environmental justice across America.” http://politi.co/1WspQut

CITY BAG WARS: THE FINAL COUNTDOWN — POLITICO New York’s David Giambusso and Gloria Pazmino: Beyond the rhetoric, slogans and signs generated in the growing fight over a five-cent fee on plastic bags, supporters and opponents are facing a game of hard numbers in the City Council. http://politi.co/1VWMwSR

VERIZON WORKERS STRIKE — POLITICO New York’s David Giambusso: The first day of a labor strike against Verizon brought national media attention, but the experts say its impacts to customers are likely weeks away. http://politi.co/1VWTgA7

** A Message from Nuclear Matters: Providing 61 percent of the state’s carbon-free electricity, New York’s nuclear energy plants are a necessary and valuable part of the state’s energy mix, and deserve the support of state lawmakers for their role in providing New York with reliable electricity while protecting the environment. Learn more: NuclearMatters.com. **

AROUND NEW YORK:

--Opt-out letters for new electricity program have started arriving in Westchester mailboxes the Journal News reports. Customers are automatically enrolled in the program unless they choose to opt-out. http://lohud.us/1VWSO4X

--Plattsburgh is looking for a moratorium on oil trains. http://bit.ly/1TSqkt3

--The Queensbury school district rejected a tax exemption for a SolarCity project. http://bit.ly/1WsJI0r

GOOD THURSDAY 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

COAL GIANT SEEKS BANKRUPTCY PROTECTION — The New York Times’ Clifford Krauss: “Peabody Energy, the world’s largest publicly owned coal producer, with mines around the world from Australia to the United States, filed for bankruptcy protection in the United States on Wednesday.” http://nyti.ms/1Yug35F

OBAMA TO ISSUE OFFSHORE RULE OPPOSED BY INDUSTRY — Bloomberg’s Jennifer Dlouhy: “The Obama administration will issue sweeping new regulations on offshore drilling Thursday, imposing potentially costly requirements for those coastal wells and the emergency equipment meant to prevent environmental disasters.” http://bloom.bg/1VWQOtC

FRESH INTEL ON WHAT OIL INDUSTRY KNEW AND WHEN — InsideClimate News: “The oil industry's leading pollution-control consultants advised the American Petroleum Institute in 1968 that carbon dioxide from burning fossil fuels deserved as much concern as the smog and soot that had commanded attention for decades.” http://bit.ly/1VWSfIi

EPA: NO LEAD WATER RULE UNTIL NEXT YEAR — The Associated Press’ Matthew Daly: “The Environmental Protection Agency’s top water regulator said Wednesday that officials are working urgently to strengthen a federal rule limiting lead and copper in drinking water — a key focus in the ongoing lead-contamination crisis in Flint, Michigan.” http://wapo.st/1VWR7Ve

WHY DO OIL PRICES KEEP SURPRISING US? — Vox’s Brad Plumer: http://bit.ly/1Ytwvmq

LOW OIL PRICES MAY BE HURTING THE ECONOMY — The Washington Post’s Matt O’Brien: “Funny things happen when interest rates are zero, but are they so funny that low oil prices might actually be hurting the economy right now? The answer, according to International Monetary Fund Chief Economist Maurice Obstfeld, is maybe.” http://wapo.st/1SN5JSb

--And yet the Fed says the economy expanded in February and March despite weaknesses in the energy market, the Associated Press reports. http://wapo.st/1VWO0wy

SENATE PANEL INTROS PRO NUCLEAR BILL — POLITICO’s Darius Dixon: “A bipartisan quartet of Senate Environment and Public Works Committee lawmakers introduced legislation [Wednesday] that would restructure how the [Nuclear Regulatory Commission] is funded and aims to grease the regulatory process for advanced reactors.”

WHY GOOGLE AND WALMART ARE BUYING SO MUCH WIND POWER — The Washington Post’s Brady Dennis: http://wapo.st/1S7LNcQ

NEW ELECTRIC CAR COMPANY TO START IN NEVADA — The Associated Press: “Upstart electric car company Faraday Future hopes to have its first vehicles rolling off the assembly line in 2018, a company executive said Wednesday, as officials marked the start of construction on a planned $1 billion Las Vegas-area production plant.” http://wapo.st/22vtT8J

QUEBEC PLANS TO SEND MORE HYDRO OUR WAY — Platts: “Quebec has developed an ambitious energy policy to make itself the North American leader in energy efficiency and renewable energy production, which will lead to increased exports to the US, the provincial government said in its 2030 energy policy.” http://bit.ly/22vu6Zy

MEXICO TO BAIL OUT PEMEX — The Wall Street Journal’s Juan Montes: “Mexico’s government said Wednesday it will support troubled state-oil firm Petróleos Mexicanos, or Pemex, with $4.2 billion in fresh capital and money to make this year’s pension payments, a step some analysts saw as insufficient if oil prices remain low.” http://on.wsj.com/1VWMTgp

FUTURES:

--Well, that was nice: Oil prices fell after a breathless climb in recent days, the Wall Street Journal reports. Turns out that hope for a production freeze that was boosting futures was more of a wish-in-one-hand situation. http://on.wsj.com/1VWTKq4

** A Message from Nuclear Matters: New York’s existing nuclear energy plants provide 61 percent of the state’s carbon-free electricity and play a vital role in achieving our clean-energy and carbon-reduction goals. Additional premature retirements of safe, reliable nuclear energy plants mean New Yorkers would pay more for electricity, the economy would suffer and we would face substantially higher carbon emissions.

New York has taken an essential step forward to address the premature closures of our nuclear energy plants. The proposed development of a Clean Energy Standard by the Public Service Commission would, for the first time, ensure that existing nuclear plants are valued for their carbon-free attributes.

We urge the state to include all of New York’s existing nuclear energy plants, regardless of their geography in the state, in the proposed Clean Energy Standard. All nuclear energy facilities bring significant reliability and clean-air benefits to New York. Learn more: NuclearMatters.com. **

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