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POLITICO New York Energy: SolarCity payments; Business Council fossil fuel ties

10/21/2016 10:00 AM EDT

By David Giambusso and Marie J. French

Good morning! You are reading a complimentary synopsis of the POLITICO New York Pro Energy newsletter. Pro subscribers receive a premium version of this newsletter, which includes an enhanced look-ahead and robust analysis of the energy news driving the day, weekdays at 5:45 a.m. Contact us here to learn more.

SOLARCITY TOOL PAYMENT STILL PENDING - POLITICO New York's Marie J. French: "The state has made one payment for manufacturing equipment at the SolarCity plant in Buffalo that's been pending for months, according to a progress report on the construction, but another payment had yet to be made as of Monday. New York has built a $750 million factory to make solar panels at the RiverBend plant, and is in the process of equipping it. "The tooling is in the delivery and installation phase," Empire State Development Corp. CEO Howard Zemsky said.

BUSINESS COUNCIL ENERGY DETAILS - The Public Accountability Initiative explores The Business Council's ties to fossil fuel energy and infrastructure companies. It's no secret the largest statewide business association has energy industry members, but senior research analyst Robert Galbraith said it is important to highlight those ties in light of the group's opposition to measures to address climate change. Find the report here:

PSEG HIRE PROMPTS CONCERN - Bloomberg's Jonathan Crawford: "A staffer at the nation's chief energy regulator is leaving to join an electric company that his agency oversees, becoming the latest in a series of departures that have raised concerns over industry ties."


-- Zoned trash collection, or franchising, is officially underway in Los Angeles as it may be one day in New York City. The Grist's Aura Bogado reports on how it's going so far. It is likely too early to tell the long-term effects of franchising on the environment and on prices.

--The Department of Environemntal Conservation will spend $600,000 to study toxic algae blooms in the Finger Lakes and create a team to address the problem

--The Coast Guard's absence at an unofficial public hearing in Croton-on-Hudson on proposed Hudson River oil barge anchorages rankled local lawmakers.

GOOD FRIDAY 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:

ENERGY JOKE OF THE DAY: What do you call a group of renewable energy experts discussing photovoltaics? A solar panel. (Editor's note: Marie French has asked that her name be taken off this joke. Enjoy your weekend, energy friends.)

EPA WATCHDOG: AGENCY WAS LATE TO FLINT - The Washington Post's Brady Dennis: "The inspector general for the Environmental Protection Agency said Thursday that the agency should have issued an emergency order to protect residents of Flint, Mich., from lead-tainted water seven months before it actually did."

GE STRUGGLING AHEAD OF EARNINGS CALL- The Wall Street Journal's Ted Mann: "It's back to the future for General Electric Co. this quarter. The industrial giant, which reports earnings [today], is contending with a raft of Wall Street downgrades, a slipping stock price, and growing questions of whether the conglomerate will meet its own profit goal for the year."

TEAM CLINTON MULLED A CARBON TAX - POLITICO's Anthony Adragna and Nick Juliano: As Hillary Clinton was crafting her climate change plan, top advisers suggested proposing economy-wide legislation to put a price on carbon as one potential approach to secure the emissions reductions she wanted, according to a memorandum released by WikiLeaks on Thursday. [federal PRO]

MUSK: REGULATORS NOT KEEPING UP WITH MY MOVES - The Los Angeles Times' Russ Mitchell: "According to Elon Musk, driverless car technology is a problem that's pretty much solved - the regulators just need to catch up. And they might want to start moving faster, because Musk isn't slowing down."

NEW ZEALAND KNEW: This newspaper clip from August 14, 1912 warns that burning coal will contribute carbon to the earth's atmosphere, warming the planet. "The effect may be considerable in a few centuries," reports the Rodney and Otamatea Times, courtesy of the New Zealand National Library.

FED REPORT: SHORE UP GAS STORAGE - InsideClimate News' Lisa Song: "The more than 400 natural gas storage facilities across the country should phase out the flawed well designs like the one that produced the massive leak at Aliso Canyon last year, a federal report released on Tuesday said."

SOUNDING THE FLOOD ALARM - POLITICO's Lorraine Woellert: As Florida and other states deal with the aftermath of Hurricane Matthew, a coalition of insurers, environmental activists and tax watchdogs is calling on the next president to shift funding to disaster mitigation and overhaul the National Flood Insurance Program. [federal PRO]

RACE TO STUDY ANTARCTIC GLACIER - The Washington Post's Chris Mooney: "U.S. and British science agencies Thursday announced a multimillion-dollar research mission to study an enormous and exceedingly remote Antarctic glacier, one that they say could hold the potential for major sea level rise before the end of the century."

THOUSANDS OF TADPOLES ARE FLYING TO PUERTO RICO: Ok, they'll be on a plane. We were duped as well into thinking baby toads were taking to the skies, partially by a misleading headline and partially by the tendency of our thoughts in recent days toward end times. Still, The Associated Press reports, "More than 4,000 wiggling tadpoles conceived via wine fridges in California and then packed in a passenger plane headed to Puerto Rico on Thursday as part of a program to re-establish a technicolor native toad once thought extinct."


--Oil fell Thursday as investors cooled off after Wednesday's love fest, the Wall Street Journal reports.

--Natural gas prices dropped after the EIA reported growing stockpiles, the Journal reports.

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