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POLITICO New York Energy, presented by the Independent Power Producers of New York: NYC rolls out community solar program; major pipeline project shelved

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.

CITY TO ROLL OUT COMMUNITY SOLAR PROGRAM — POLITICO New York’s David Giambusso: Mayor Bill de Blasio's office on Thursday will announce a new solar incentive program while touting the fact solar power has tripled since the mayor took office in 2014. The new Solarize NYC program will allow communities to aggregate into single purchasing groups, giving them much greater buying power than individual entities. The city estimates savings could range from 10 percent to 20 percent, a significant reduction in a city where energy costs are among the highest in the nation. http://politi.co/1VkYqqX

GAS PIPELINE PROJECT SHELVED — POLITICO New York’s Scott Waldman: http://politi.co/1Tk3KYc

PSC MAKES IT EASIER FOR COMMUNITIES TO CHOOSE RENEWABLES — POLITICO New York’s Scott Waldman: http://politi.co/1r0UjDQ

PAYBACK TIME FOR CON ED — POLITICO New York’s David Giambusso: http://politi.co/1SuAePp

SEC GRANTED GE PERMISSION TO KILL HUDSON RIVER CLEANUP RESOLUTION — International Business Times’ David Sirota: “According to little-noticed filings with the Securities and Exchange Commission, a group of GE shareholders informed the company it was submitting a resolution that, if passed, could have compelled the company to produce a full evaluation of the legal liability it could face if it does not fully clean up the polychlorinated biphenyls, or PCBs, it leaked into the [Hudson] river during the mid-20th century.” http://bit.ly/26fTuY5

OP-ED: GREENING THE CONCRETE JUNGLE: Deborah Marton, executive director of the New York Restoration Project, writes an op-ed for Reuters citing the need for green spaces, trees and other vegetation in cities as Americans overwhelmingly move to urban areas. http://reut.rs/1YHLKbN

** A message from the Independent Power Producers of New York: Learn more about New York’s Clean Energy Standard at IPPNY’s 30th Annual Spring Conference on May 10 & 11 at the Desmond Hotel and Conference Center in Albany! The conference will feature a panel discussion on NY’s Clean Energy Standard. Register Now! **

AROUND NEW YORK:

--Former EPA administrator Christine Todd Whitman says New York will have a hard time meeting its federal emissions-reduction goals without Indian Point. http://bit.ly/22OHRmq

--Michael Bloomberg’s donation to the Sierra Club to fight coal plants did not come with any strings attached, such as a requirement that it back off on fracking. http://bit.ly/1rmnXnr

--SNL Energy looks at the Constitution pipeline debacle. http://bit.ly/1NBYNFD

--U.S. Sen. Charles Schumer is sponsoring legislation to eradicate lead poisoning from water and paint chips in New York. http://politi.co/1qErWuN

--The state’s $40 million microgrid contest is entering phase 2 with $8 million at stake for successful applications. http://bit.ly/1SuCBli

--Dust off those shotguns, kids! This weekend is the 13th annual Youth Turkey Hunting Weekend,” the state DEC announced Wednesday.

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

SENATE PASSES ENERGY BILL — The Wall Street Journal’s Amy Harder: “The Senate on Wednesday overwhelmingly approved a broad energy bill that represents one of the few chances in this election year for bipartisanship, though it doesn’t make major policy changes and hurdles remain before President Barack Obama would sign it into law.” http://on.wsj.com/1SuAXzZ

--The New York Times editorial board didn’t pan the bill outright, but said it has some troubling problems. http://nyti.ms/1SuCdmA

MARYLAND DECISION FALLOUT — The Baltimore Sun’s Scott Dance: “Maryland utility regulators and a power plant developer they offered subsidies both expressed disappointment that the Supreme Court ruled against them Monday, but disagreed over what that means for future state efforts to encourage power plant construction.” http://bsun.md/1ScjH3N

SAN FRANCISCO TO REQUIRE SOLAR — NPR’s Camile Domonoske: “San Francisco will soon begin requiring new buildings to have solar panels installed on their roofs. It's the first major U.S. city to have such a requirement, according to Scott Weiner, the city supervisor who introduced the bill.” http://n.pr/1T08Eab

--Allowing more dense housing would be an even greener idea than solar panels. http://bit.ly/1SZCsUg

VW TO SPEND $1 BILLION TO COMPENSATE OWNERS — The Associated Press’ Tom Krisher: “Volkswagen, the U.S. government and private lawyers have reached a deal for the automaker to spend just over $1 billion to compensate owners of about 600,000 diesel-powered cars that cheat on emissions tests, according to a person briefed on the matter.” http://apne.ws/26fye4O

MICHIGAN AG FILES CHARGES OVER FLINT — POLITICO’s Annie Snider: “Michigan's attorney general lodged the first criminal charges against two state environmental officials and a city staffer tied to the Flint drinking water crisis on Wednesday, though the investigation has so far stopped short of ensnaring the embattled office of Republican Gov. Rick Snyder.” http://politico.pro/1SuBbav

CLIMATE CHANGE BOOSTING AIR POLLUTION — InsideClimate News’ Phil McKenna: “More than 166 million people in the U.S. — 52 percent of all Americans — are exposed to unhealthy levels of either ozone or particulate pollution, putting them at risk for premature death and other serious health effects, including lung cancer, asthma attacks and developmental harm, according to a report published Wednesday by the American Lung Association.” http://bit.ly/1SuCxBU

SUNEDISON DEALS COULD BE TROUBLE IN BANKRUPTCY — The Wall Street Journal’s Liz Hoffman: “The deal-making frenzy that hastened SunEdison Inc.’s collapse could continue to cause problems for the solar-power company during any bankruptcy.” http://on.wsj.com/1SuBphz

GOP WARMING TO RENEWABLES — Bloomberg’s Joe Ryan: “For decades, alternative energy was the province of activists. It was far more expensive than fossil fuels, and many remained unconvinced of humanity’s role in the globe’s rising temperature. When world leaders gather in New York on Friday to sign the Paris climate accord, they will do so against a changing backdrop.” http://bloom.bg/1SuBIZK

FIRST U.S. OIL EXPORT TANKER REACHES EUROPE — The Associated Press: “A petroleum tanker laden with 175,000 barrels of North Dakota crude was being offloaded in Europe on Wednesday, the first such overseas shipment of the state’s oil since Congress lifted a 40-year ban on crude exports in December.North Dakota’s congressional delegation and industry officials hailed Hess Corp.’s shipment as a milestone that could open more markets in faraway refineries where premium prices are typically fetched based on foreign prices.” http://wapo.st/1SuBWjM

OIL MARKETS STICK TO SHORT TERM TRADING — The Wall Street Journal’s Timothy Puko and Nicole Friedman: “Short-term trading is playing a large role in the oil market these days. Volume, or the number of contracts being traded every day, has surged in the past two years in the benchmark U.S. oil-futures market, according to data from CME Group Inc.” http://on.wsj.com/1VG1sWI



FUTURES:

--Oil had a good day after an unexpected drop in stockpiles, The Wall Street Journal’s Timothy Puko reports. http://on.wsj.com/1SuDaeN

--Natural gas retreated as supply concerns still worried investors, Mr. Puko reports. http://on.wsj.com/1ScfVr3

** A message from the Independent Power Producers of New York: Experts discuss the implications of New York’s Clean Energy Standard! Don’t miss out on this year’s IPPNY conference, featuring Chairman Norman Bay of the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission, President and CEO Brad Jones of the New York Independent System Operator, and a panel discussion on NY’s Clean Energy Standard. Our panel experts include Scott Weiner of the Department of Public Service, Bob Perciasepe of the Center for Climate and Energy Solutions, Dr. Susan Tierney of Analysis Group, Inc., Kevin Lang or Couch White, LLP., and Charles Berckmann of Moody’s Investors Service. Register today to make sure you are part of the discussion! **

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