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POLITICO New York Energy: Tesla-SolarCity details; more questions on Cayuga

11/02/2016 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.

TESLA-SOLARCITY DETAILS - POLITICO New York's Marie J. French: SolarCity would add $500 million to Tesla's bottom line over three years, according to new projections released by the two companies on Tuesday evening. Tesla CEO Elon Musk said the company's merger with SolarCity, of which he is chairman, would allow for cross-selling to customers of both companies. He said the combined company, with the help of Japanese electronics manufacturer Panasonic, would be able to make the "most efficient and the cheapest solar cell in the world." The future of a major New York economic development project in Buffalo is tied to a proposed merger of SolarCity and Tesla. Taxpayers have funded a $750 million factory where SolarCity is expected to make solar panels at RiverBend. ... Funding the Buffalo manufacturing operation and SolarCity's $5 billion, 10-year obligation in New York state is not a concern, Musk said in response to questions from analysts. He said that includes the current operations in New York and the company's combined costs will exceed that figure.

MORE QUESTIONS OVER CAYUGA - POLITICO New York's David Giambusso: When the state announced in February that it would not fund a repurposed Cayuga power plant, one of New York's last remaining coal plants, environmentalists were ebullient. Now, anti-coal groups and consumer advocates believe the owners of the troubled facility near Ithaca are inappropriately using ratepayer funds to keep the plant alive beyond its agreed-upon retirement date next year.

FUNDING RENEWABLE CREDITS - POLITICO New York's Marie J. French: Utilities - and ultimately their customers - may end up paying for renewable energy resources if other funding sources managed by the state fall short.

CITY HALL'S EXELON ISSUES - POLITICO New York's David Giambusso: Add the city of New York to the growing list of entities with concerns over the state's mammoth subsidy for four upstate nuclear reactors.


--CPV exec asks law enforcement to go fishing: POLITICO New York's Jimmy Vielkind reports that Braith Kelly, an executive at Competitive Power Ventures who pleaded not guilty to charges he steered $287,000 in money and gifts to Joe Percoco, a former top aide to Gov. Andrew Cuomo, has asked prosecutors for permission to leave the state so he can work on his fishing boat.

--Gov. Andrew Cuomo said Tuesday the state had adopted rules proposed last year that will place tighter emissions restrictions on diesel generators and natural gas engines.

--State Sen. Tony Avella has joined a group of downstate legislators in criticizing the Cuomo administration's estimated $7.6 billion subsidy to four upstate nuclear reactors.

--FERC gave the green light for the Algonquin pipeline to begin service along its route with some exceptions.

--The New York Green Bank announced a deal Tuesday with the Northport-East Northport Union Free School District in Huntington that is expected to save the district $1 million a year through energy efficiency.

GOOD WEDNESDAY 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:

ACRONYMS WE LOVE (TO HATE): What's the difference between an LSE and an EDC? So glad you asked. A load serving entity (LSE) deals with the electric supply and could be an ESCO (electric service company), a utility or the New York Power Authority. An electric distribution company (EDC) is a regulated utility responsible for (you guessed it), distributing power. Think ConEd, NYSEG, National Grid. Do you have a (least) favorite energy acronym? Send us an email and we'll feature it in our new weekly installment of Acronyms We Love (to Hate), or AWLTH.

NORTH DAKOTA BORROWS FOR PIPELINE PROTEST COSTS - The Associated Press' James MacPherson and Blake Nicholson: "North Dakota leaders agreed Tuesday to borrow another $4 million to cover the escalating costs of policing protests at the Dakota Access pipeline and slammed the federal government for not chipping in part of the funding."

--Dakota Access Pipeline protesters shut down New York's Grand Central Terminal on Tuesday before moving on to banks that are funding the pipeline.

DONOR FAILS TO SHIFT GOP ON CLIMATE CHANGE - Bloomberg's Zachary Mider: "When Jay Faison, one of the Republican Party's most generous patrons, flew to Cleveland for its national convention in July, things weren't looking good for anyone concerned about the health of the planet. The month was shaping up to be the hottest in recorded history, and the party was about to nominate a candidate who'd called global warming a hoax invented by China."

GAS PRICES SPIKE ON PIPELINE FIRE - Wall Street Journal's Alison Sider: "Gasoline futures soared at one point Tuesday to their highest level in eight years after a major fuel artery to the Atlantic Coast was severed, threatening to cause gas shortages across much of the Southeast."

--A state of emergency was declared in Alabama.

UTILITY BEHIND ALISO CANYON DISASTER WANTS BACK - Brian Melley of The Associated Press: "A utility asked California regulators Tuesday to resume operations at the largest underground gas storage facility in the West a year after a well blowout spewed methane uncontrollably for months and drove thousands of residents from their Los Angeles homes."

GETTING THOSE DANGEROUS CHEMICALS OUT OF YOUR BLUE JEANS - Bloomberg's Lauren Coleman-Lochner: "Perfluorochemicals, phthalates and azo dyes are among the substances that are widespread in making clothes. Under pressure from consumers demanding safer alternatives to harmful chemicals, American companies including Levi Strauss & Co. are taking a more European approach. The European Union has banned or restricted more than 1,000 chemicals; in the U.S., fewer than 50."

MINING COMPANY INTO ELECTRIC VEHICLES - Bloomberg's Chisaki Watanabe: "BHP Billiton Ltd., the world's biggest miner, is hot for electric vehicles. The Melbourne-based resources giant, which mines metals and coal used for both steelmaking and fueling power plants, is increasingly optimistic that there'll be a surge in demand for some of its products as consumers opt for electric vehicles, or EVs, and other renewable energy technologies."

NEW ENGLAND GAS COULD SURGE THIS WINTER - Bloomberg's Naureen Malik: "The global glut of natural gas still hasn't reached one corner of the U.S. The heating fuel may surge to $20 to $25 per million British thermal units in New England this winter, the highest in the world, as pipeline bottlenecks limit supplies during frigid weather, traders including Consolidated Edison Inc.'s ConEdison Energy said."

STUDY: POSSIBLE LINK BETWEEN OIL PRODUCTION AND 20TH CENTURY QUAKES - The Wall Street Journal's Jim Carlton: "Some of the biggest earthquakes that rocked Southern California during the early 20th century were possibly triggered by oil production, according to a new study published Monday."

SAUDI MINISTER: RENEWABLES WON'T STIFLE RISING OIL DEMAND - The Wall Street Journal's Elena Cherney and Ahmed Al Omran: "Global appetite for oil and gas will continue to grow despite intensifying efforts to curb climate change, even as renewable energy plays an increasing role in the energy mix, Saudi Arabia's powerful energy minister Khalid Al-Falih said."


--Oil continued to drop Tuesday on continued skepticism over OPEC production cuts, the Wall Street Journal reports.

--Natural gas fell again on warmer than normal temperatures, the Journal reports.

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