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POLITICO New York Energy: Task force on Hoosick Falls proposed; virtual power plants

06/14/2016 10:00 AM EDT

By David Giambusso and Scott Waldman

Good morning! You are receiving the complimentary synopsis of the POLITICO New York Pro Energy newsletter. Pro subscribers are receiving an enhanced version of this newsletter at 5:45 a.m. each weekday, which includes a look-ahead and robust analysis of energy policy news driving the day. If you would like the Pro version of this newsletter, along with customized real-time insights on New York energy, please contact us here and we will set you up with trial access. Thank you for reading!

TASK FORCE ON HOOSICK FALLS COULD REPLACE HEARINGS - POLITICO New York's Scott Waldman: State Sen. Kathy Marchione said Monday she wants to form a task force that could examine chemical pollution issues across New York in light of the water crisis in Hoosick Falls. Marchione, a Republican who represents the Rensselaer County village where hundreds of people were exposed to a toxic chemical used in industrial manufacturing, said she was open to legislative hearings to examine the state, federal and local response to the situation in Hoosick Falls. However, she stopped short of calling for them and said a task force would allow all sides to work together more effectively.

--The Hoosick Falls School District published this video by one of its teachers, pushing back on Mark Ruffalo's glowing review of the Cuomo administration's energy and environmental policy.



COLUMBIA, DEP TEAM UP FOR TRASH FLOW STUDY - POLITICO New York's Conor Skelding: Researchers at Columbia University will spend the next three months surveying litter, contributing to a Department of Environmental Protection study of how trash travels from the city's streets to its waterways.


--A proposed bill could allow New York to take the FitzPatrick nuclear facility in Oswego County, slated to be shuttered next year, by eminent domain.

--Activists say Indian Point is a "time bomb," but federal regulators don't care.

GOOD TUESDAY MORNING: 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:

SUPREME COURT LEAVES COAL RULE IN PLACE-The Washington Post's Brady Dennis: "The Supreme Court on Monday left intact a key Obama administration environmental regulation, refusing to take up an appeal from 20 states to block rules that limit the emissions of mercury and other harmful pollutants that are byproducts of burning coal."

TRANSPORTATION IS BIGGEST EMITTER OF GREENHOUSE GAS - Vox's Brad Plumer: "Here's an important energy milestone: For the first time since 1979, America's cars, trucks and airplanes emit more carbon dioxide than its power plants do."

PEABODY SPENT LAVISHLY ON CLIMATE SKEPTICISM - The Guardian's Suzanne Goldenberg and Helena Bengtsson: "Peabody Energy, America's biggest coal mining company, has funded at least two dozen groups that cast doubt on manmade climate change and oppose environmental regulations, an analysis by the Guardian reveals."

--Former Obama mentor Laurence Tribe is on the payroll too, earning about $25,000 a month to fight his former pupil's Clean Power Plan, The Hill reports.

DOE FUNDS DATA CENTER EFFICIENCY - UtilityDive's Robert Walton: "Growing demand for internet processing power has spurred the U.S. Department of Energy to offer funding for efficiency projects that could ultimately lower power demand by 1% annually."

SENATE SENDS PIPELINE SAFETY BILL TO OBAMA - POLITICO's Andrew Restuccia: "The Senate approved pipeline safety legislation by unanimous consent [on Monday], sending the bill to President Barack Obama's desk." [federal PRO]

CLEAN ENERGY ADVOCATES SAY MASS. CAN DO MORE - E and E Publishing's Daniel Cusick: "Massachusetts is on the cusp of adopting one of the largest renewable energy procurement programs in New England. So why aren't renewable energy advocates cheering louder?"

WE'LL NEVER GO BACK - The Washington Post's Chris Mooney: "Scientists who measure and forecast the concentrations of greenhouse gases in the atmosphere said Monday that we may have passed a key turning point."

DONG GOES PUBLIC: Greentech Media reports that Dong Energy, a Danish energy company that is looking to develop offshore wind off the coast of the mid-Atlantic, went public last week."

WORLD NEARING PEAK FOSSIL FUELS FOR ENERGY - Bloomberg's Tom Randall: "The way we get electricity is about to change dramatically, as the era of ever-expanding demand for fossil fuels comes to an end - in less than a decade."

KILLER COAL ASH - InsideClimate News: "The wind that blows through Bokoshe, Okla., is an ominous one. A small, low-income town near the Arkansas border, Bokoshe sits in the shadow of a coal power plant."

NEW ATLAS OF LIGHT POLLUTION - Science Advances: A new atlas of light pollution documents the degree to which the world is illuminated by artificial skyglow.."


--Oil slides again: The Wall Street Journal reports oil futures hit a one-week low after stockpiles started to creep up.

--Natural gas rose on expectations of increased summer demand, the Journal reports.

To view online:

Stories from POLITICO Pro

Columbia researchers to survey city litter for DEP Back

By Conor Skelding | 06/14/2016 05:19 AM EDT

Researchers at Columbia University will spend the next three months surveying what other people toss away. The research into litter will contribute to a Department of Environmental Protection study of how trash travels from the city's streets to its waterways.

Columbia researchers will "[d]evelop and test a data collection protocol ... to obtain detailed information on trash origin and composition," a summary of the project states.

The project will use the protocol "to track trash to specific points of sale, identify brand items and record visual observations of conditions that could influence transportation of trash to storm drains," the summary states. "This study will help inform the control of floatable and settleable trash and debris component of the Stormwater Management Plan."

The project will "help meet the OneNYC goal of Zero Waste to landfills by 2030," the summary says.

Columbia professors Ester Fuchs, in public affairs, and Patricia Culligan, in civil engineering, will lead the project.

Culligan said the project emerged from a survey conducted by six master's students in environmental science and public policy. The public policy students developed "a survey tool" and the science students developed a predictive model for "trash hot spots based on six years of 311 trash complaints, tax records and other data," she said.

The summer project will survey about 25 sites throughout the city, "three times in wet weather and three times in dry weather," between July 1 and Sept. 30, according to Culligan.

The university will also create a smartphone app "to facilitate and encourage data collection by community groups, students and other citizen scientists."

Read a summary of the project here:


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