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POLITICO New York Energy: Hoosick Falls settlement; promoting offshore wind

01/11/2017 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.

HOOSICK FALLS SETTLEMENT DETAILS - Albany Times Union's Brendan Lyons: "An $850,000 settlement agreement between the village of Hoosick Falls and two companies blamed for polluting the community's drinking water supplies would cover more than $400,000 in legal and public relations expenses. The agreement between the village and Saint-Gobain Performance Plastics and Honeywell International is intended, in part, to cover many of the village's expenses since the discovery in 2014 that a toxic manufacturing chemical, perfluorooctanoic acid, or PFOA, had polluted groundwater that includes the village's public water supply and also numerous private wells around the area. The agreement will be the subject of a public meeting on Thursday evening in Hoosick Falls. It includes a provision that the village agrees 'not to sue and forever discharges SGPP and Honeywell ... for any and all claims which the village now has, or might have in the future, against the corporate releasees relating in any extent to the presence of PFOA in the Village's current municipal water supply.'"

--Environmental Advocates of New York's Liz Moran: "The ongoing crisis has led to an unprecedented situation, where questions remain unanswered, and residents live with an ongoing fear of how past contamination may harm their future health. It is recklessly shortsighted that government officials are knowingly tossing out legal options today that could mean the difference between life and death tomorrow."

PROMOTING OFFSHORE WIND - POLITICO New York's Marie J. French: Gov. Andrew Cuomo said Tuesday that the state is committed to developing 2,400 megawatts of offshore wind, enough to power 1.25 million homes, by 2030 as part of an effort to boost renewable energy in New York.

NEW YORK TRAILS - POLITICO New York's Jimmy Vielkind: Hoping to boost tourism, Gov. Andrew Cuomo announced plans Tuesday for a 750-mile trail system that would follow the Hudson Valley and Erie Canal corridors.

COMMUNITY WIND FIGHT - POLITICO New York's Marie J. French: A small wind farm in a liberal community near Ithaca had lined up financing, secured an agreement from Cornell University to buy its power and gained support from a number of local residents. But more than 11 years after the first wind observation tower went up in Enfield, construction has yet to begin on the 16-megawatt project.

FROM THE LEGISLATURE: State Senate leaders on Tuesday announced committee appointments. There's a slight change with the Environmental Conservation Committee, as Democratic Sen. Todd Kaminsky from southwestern Nassau County takes over as the ranking minority member. Previously, it was Sen. Brad Hoylman from Manhattan.


--New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio was cautiously supportive of the plan to close the Indian Point nuclear power plant.

--Protesters called on Gov. Andrew Cuomo to stop the transport of natural gas through New York State and block the proposed Northern Access pipeline.

--Harriet Tubman's Auburn home has been officially designated a national historic park.

--U.S. Sens. Chuck Schumer and Kirsten Gillibrand have asked the EPA to expedite designating Hoosick Falls a Superfund site.

--An engineering firm project manager pleaded guilty in a scheme targeting homeowners trying to collect federal flood insurance money for Hurricane Sandy damage.

--EDITORIAL: Gov. Andrew Cuomo is waging war on the state's energy by closing Indian Point, the New York Post's editorial board writes.

--ICYMI: A possible carcinogen was detected at low levels in Long Island drinking water, Newsday reports.

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CLEAN COAL ONLINE - Washington Post's Chris Mooney: "The first large scale U.S. 'clean coal' facility was declared operational Tuesday - by the large energy firm NRG Energy and JX Nippon Oil & Gas Exploration Corp."

WHITE HOUSE WANTS GEOENGINEERING STUDIES - The New York Times' Henry Fountain: "A White House road map for federally funded climate research has for the first time recommended research into geoengineering, the concept of intervening in nature to slow or reverse global warming.'"

BEES IN DANGER - USA Today's Doyle Rice: "A bumblebee is now on the endangered species list for the first time in a 'race against extinction,' the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service announced Tuesday."

ETHICS OFFICIALS CLEAR PRUITT - The Associated Press' Michael Biesecker: "Federal ethics officials have cleared President-elect Donald Trump's nominee for the Environmental Protection Agency to be confirmed by the Senate."

BUSINESSES URGE TRUMP TO PROTECT PARIS ACCORD - POLITICO's Matthew Nussbaum: A group of 600 businesses, including some of the country's leading technology companies, is calling on President-elect Donald Trump to adhere to the Paris climate agreement and pursue policies to mitigate the risks of climate change.

STEYER PLANS GREEN ATTACK - POLITICO's Andrew Restuccia: Environmentalist Tom Steyer is laying plans to put his vast wealth to work to "activate a resistance" to President-elect Donald Trump and the Republican Congress.

VW IN TALKS TO PAY $4.3B FOR EMISSIONS - The Financial Times' David J Lynch and Patrick McGee: "Volkswagen said on Tuesday it was in advanced talks to pay $4.3 billion in penalties and plead guilty to criminal charges to settle with the US Department of Justice over the German carmaker's diesel emissions scandal. The company would also be subject to supervision by an independent monitor for the next three years."

OIL DISCOVERIES PICK UP - Bloomberg's Mikael Holter: "The amount of oil discovered last year was the lowest since the 1950s as explorers slashed spending amid the worst downturn in a generation, according to Wood Mackenzie. The good news: It can probably only get better from here."

SENATORS INTRODUCE BILL TO PREVENT GRID CYBERATTACK - POLITICO's Tim Starks: A bipartisan group of senators [on Tuesday] reintroduced legislation mandating a study of how to make the electricity grid less connected as a way of bolstering its defenses against cyberattacks.

RUSSIA'S ANTI-FRACKING AGENDA - Bloomberg's Eric Roston: "Energy politics makes strange bedfellows, none stranger than Robin Hood and Russian President Vladimir Putin. RT, a media organization that the U.S. intelligence community calls 'the Kremlin's principal international propaganda outlet,' published an article on Jan. 2 under the unlikely headline: 'Robin Hood's Sherwood Forest hideout under threat from frackers.'"


--Oil fell again as OPEC output increased, the Wall Street Journal reports.

--Natural gas rebounded on reports of cold weather, the Journal reports.

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