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POLITICO New York Energy: Nuclear tension in New York

11/08/2016 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.

NYPA REDACTS FITZPATRICK SALE DOCS - The Post-Standard's Tim Knauss: "The New York Power Authority has promised to pay $35 million if a sale of the FitzPatrick nuclear plant is not consummated for certain reasons, but state officials won't say what those reasons are. In response to a Freedom of Information request, state power authority officials on Friday provided a copy of their contract to pay $35 million to FitzPatrick owner Entergy Corp. if the sale falls through under certain circumstances. But NYPA lawyers blacked out an entire section of the agreement that lists nine specific events that would trigger the payment. NYPA lawyers even blacked out the definitions of 18 terms used in the agreement."

CUOMO'S NUCLEAR PARADOX - POLITICO New York's David Giambusso and Marie J. French: To the casual observer, it might appear that Gov. Andrew Cuomo's administration is having an argument with itself about nuclear energy. Last month, the administration responded to a suit by a powerful coalition of generation companies over a state subsidy to upstate nuclear plants by extolling the virtues of nuclear power and its necessity in keeping carbon emissions down. On the very same day, lawyers for the governor effectively argued in state Appellate Court that the downstate Indian Point nuclear plant - which requires no subsidy and would have to be replaced by energy sources that would generate an estimated 15 percent increase in greenhouse gas emissions - should be closed. Now, the administration is defending itself on multiple fronts.

--A cheap stunt? "Stop the Cuomo Tax," a group fighting Cuomo's upstate nuclear bailout flew a banner ad over the New York City Marathon on Sunday. Energy czar Richard Kauffman called it a "cheap stunt," but we think this had to cost some coin. Photo courtesy of FWW's Alex Beauchamp.


--Ithaca anti-fracking activist Walter Hang is pushing to get presidential candidates to pledge to block various disposal methods for fracking wastewater. Green Party candidate Jill Stein has signed on:

--A fire at a Con Ed substation forced the city to shut down the Staten Island Railway during rush hour last night.

--There's been a slight uptick in gas prices in New York:

--Northport gets funding to repair aging sewer mains.

--A suspicious fire burned equipment being used by a contractor on the Spectra Algonquin pipeline and several acres of brush in Cortlandt.

--The company behind a Brooklyn microgrid is taking its experience in the U.S. to Australia.

HAPPY ELECTION DAY! Make sure you exercise your rights today. Here's a site to find your polling place 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:

OKLAHOMA SHAKER - NPR's Rebecca Hersher: "A magnitude 5.0 earthquake shook central Oklahoma on Sunday evening, damaging several buildings. Multiple aftershocks also hit the area, the U.S. Geological Survey says. The quake epicenter was about a mile west of the town of Cushing, the largest commercial crude oil storage center in North America and the southern terminus of the Keystone pipeline."

TRUMP PLAN THREATENS WIND, SOLAR - Bloomberg's Joe Ryan and Brian Eckhouse: "Donald J. Trump's proposal to boost the U.S. economy by slashing corporate taxes may put a damper on the rapidly growing clean-energy industry."

BIG OIL EYES THREAT FROM ELECTRIC VEHICLES - The New York Times' Justin Gillis: "Norway, one of the world's leading oil producers, has become an unlikely proving ground for the proposition that electric cars are ready for prime time. Because of big tax breaks, they have come out of nowhere to seize a third of the new-car market in just five years."

MATCH MADE BY MUSK - The New York Times' Diane Cardwell: "The solar panels - 15,000 of them - sweep down the hill from a former dairy farm (in Norwich, Connecticut), gleaming rows of silver and blue nestled between fields of recently harvested corn. The installation, a project developed in partnership with SolarCity, the leading rooftop solar provider in the United States, and the local electric cooperative, is meant to help create more green energy options for customers, mainly a handful of utilities operating in the state. But it is what lies toward the bottom of the array that gives the project its distinction: about 30 white refrigerator-size battery banks courtesy of Tesla, the electric carmaker."

BAT DEATHS FROM WIND - The Washington Post's Brady Dennis: "It's no secret that wind power has experienced a boom in recent years, as demand for renewable energy sources grows. But while the technology is adept at helping curb greenhouse-gas emissions, the thousands of new turbines popping up around the globe do have some drawbacks. Wind farms have a long-documented history of killing hundreds of thousands of birds and bats each year."

BALLOT MEASURES COULD RESHAPE RENEWABLES - Bill Loveless for USA Today: "Ballot measures Tuesday in Colorado, Florida, Nevada and Washington could reshape the future for fossil fuels, electricity and renewable energy in those markets. Each initiative illustrates how significant decisions on the production and consumption of energy in the U.S. are often made at the state level, especially with gridlock in Washington over federal policies."

SMOG SMOTHERS DELHI - The New York Times' Ellen Barry: "For days, many in Delhi have been living as if under siege, trying to keep the dirty air away from their children and older parents. But it is not easy: Open a window or a door, and the haze enters the room within seconds. Outside, the sky is white, the sun a white circle so pale that you can barely make it out. The smog is acrid, eye-stinging and throat-burning, and so thick that it is being blamed for a 70-vehicle pileup north of the city."

WASHINGTON STATE'S 'WEIRD' CARBON TAX BATTLE - The Washington Post's Chelsea Harvey: "A carbon tax proposal in Washington state, scheduled for the ballot on Tuesday, has been drawing national attention for weeks as a result of the unexpected controversy it's inspired among environmental groups, many of whom have outright opposed the initiative. And in the final days leading up to the vote, new voices have continued to join the fray, including influential players on all sides of the climate change conversation."

DAKOTA FOES TARGET BANKS - The New York Times' Hiroko Tabuchi: "In early August, just as protesters from across the country descended on North Dakota to rally against an oil pipeline near the Standing Rock Sioux Reservation, some of the world's biggest banks signed off on a $2.5 billion loan to help complete the sprawling project. Now, those banks - which include Citigroup and Wells Fargo of the United States, TD Bank of Canada and Mizuho of Japan - have come under fire for their role in bankrolling the pipeline."

OHIO STILL PUMPING NATURAL GAS - Bloomberg's Christine Buurma: "As U.S. natural gas production slows amid cost-cutting, one U.S. state is bucking the trend. Gas output from Ohio, home to the Utica shale formation, jumped 13 percent in August even as supplies dropped across the bulk of the U.S., including the neighboring Marcellus play in Pennsylvania."

IT'S MADE OUT OF ... ALGAE! - Bloomberg's Olivia Zaleski: "Since its introduction in 2013, the protein drink Soylent has become the go-to food substitute for many coders and venture capitalists in Silicon Valley. For $2 a serving, techies too busy to cook for themselves can pour the powder mix into a glass of water and imbibe a nutrient-rich, if bland-tasting, meal. It's like a jock protein shake but for nerds. But this summer, as the company was riding a wave of positive publicity into its third year, reports of illness started to surface. Customers complained of nausea and other stomach issues after eating newer formulations of its products. In October, Soylent maker Rosa Foods Inc. stopped selling its powder mix and recalled its protein bars. ...The company believes an algae-based ingredient unique to the two new products was to blame for the illnesses and plans to remove it from future versions."


--Oil rose Monday on news the FBI found nothing new in Hillary Clinton's emails and renewed hope over an OPEC deal, The Wall Street Journal reports.

--Natural gas prices improved on cooler weather, the Journal reports.

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