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POLITICO New York Energy, presented by the Independent Power Producers of New York (IPPNY): City weighs in on Clean Energy Fund; utility war in NJ

By David Giambusso and Scott Waldman

Good morning! Only POLITICO New York Pro subscribers receive this email at 5:30 a.m. each weekday. If you'd like to receive it at that time, along with a customized real-time news feed of New York energy policy news throughout the day, please contact us at and we'll set you up for trial access. We’ll send the same newsletter to non-Pro subscribers at 10 a.m. Thank you for reading.

CITY WEIGHS IN ON CLEAN ENERGY FUND—POLITICO New York’s David Giambusso: New York City has some ideas for how the state deploys its Clean Energy Fund, a vast pool of money collected on utility bills and designated for clean energy investments. In a 36-page document filed with the Public Service Commission, the city voiced support for many of the ideas set out by the New York State Energy Research and Development Authority, which will oversee the $5 billion fund, but urged caution and greater transparency in some aspects of the state's ambitions. The biggest overall concern for the city comes from the theory of state grants versus "market transformation." That theory tends to govern how much of the state's funding is deployed. New York City, while agreeing in theory, said cutting off some grant access could stunt development of clean energy companies and technologies that are still years away from being supported by the free market.

FULOP DECLARES WAR ON PSEG—POLITICO New Jersey’s David Giambusso: Jersey City Mayor Steven Fulop declared a work stoppage for the state's largest utility Monday, calling PSEG's treatment of the state's cities a "disgrace" compared to how it treats more affluent areas. Standing at the intersection of Columbus and Newark Avenues, in the heart of Jersey City's downtown, Fulop pointed to jagged black lines of tar that were cut into pavement and brick crosswalks — marks left by infrastructure work the utility recently performed. "To move your equipment away from here and think this is acceptable is a disgrace," Fulop said, adding that similar patchwork road repairs dotted every ward of the city. Fulop said all PSEG projects in Jersey City would be halted until the utility agreed to repave the roads it had excavated and restore them to the condition in which they were found. The mayor, who is widely expected to run for governor, cast PSEG's behavior as a class issue.

**A message from IPPNY: Join us for Power Source, our 30th Annual Fall Conference on September 22 at the Gideon Putnam Resort in Saratoga Springs! This year’s conference features keynote speaker Angela O’Connor, current Chairman of the Massachusetts Department of Public Utilities. See our full agenda here! **


--PSEG Long Island looks for renewables: Newsday’s Mark Harrington reports, “PSEG Long Island Monday issued a request for information for a large block of green energy projects promised under a former LIPA plan.”

--It’s like a heat wave: Actually it is a heat wave. NY1 reports this week is the first “official” heat wave since 2013. We say it’s the first heat wave since the heat wave two weeks ago. A ground level ozone advisory is in effect today.

--Indian Point testing weapons: Don’t freak out, people of Buchanan. That gunfire you will hear emanating from the Indian Point nuclear facility over the next three weeks is just a training exercise for if people with guns ever do attack the plant. Local authorities have been notified.

--Menendez will announce Iran decision today: U.S. Senator Robert Menendez will lay out his position on the Iran nuclear deal today at 1 p.m. at Seton Hall University.

--Nyack Iran vigil: A Nyack-based group will hold a series of vigils over the next three weeks in support of President Obama’s nuclear accord with Iran. The vigils will be held at the Nyack Clock Tower on Cedar and Main Streets.

GOOD TUESDAY MORNING: Please let us know if you have stories, ideas, complaints or even if you're just lonely. We're always here at and And if you like this letter, please tell a friend and/or loved one.

EPA TO ANNOUNCE METHANE EMISSIONS CUTS—The Wall Street Journal’s Amy Harder: “The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency on Tuesday will propose the first-ever federal regulations to cut methane emissions from the nation’s oil and natural-gas industry, according to people familiar with the move, which is part of President Barack Obama’s climate agenda. The EPA is expected to propose regulations aimed at cutting methane emissions from the oil and gas sector by 40% to 45% over the next decade from 2012 levels, said a person familiar with the plan. That was the goal the agency said earlier this year it would pursue when it first unveiled its plans. The move is part of a broader regulatory agenda Mr. Obama is pursuing as he seeks to make addressing climate change a legacy of his time in the White House. Earlier this month, the EPA issued final rules cutting carbon emissions from power plants 32% by 2030 based on emissions levels from 2005.”

OBAMA OKs ARCTIC DRILLING—POLITICO’s Elana Schor: “The Obama administration on Monday gave Shell the go-ahead to expand its multibillion-dollar attempt at Arctic offshore oil drilling, aggravating environmentalists just two weeks after the president basked in their praise for pushing an aggressive climate change plan. The move, which opens up another potential gap between President Barack Obama and Democratic front-runner Hillary Clinton, allows Shell to drill into the oil- and gas-bearing zones in Alaska’s Chukchi Sea, a remote and challenging environment where green groups had fought hard to keep the company away from threatened walruses and polar bears. The expanded permits approved by the Interior Department allow Shell to tap into oil- and gas-bearing zones in Alaska’s Chukchi Sea, a remote and challenging environment where green groups had fought hard to keep the company away from threatened walruses, polar bears and sea ice. Shell last got permission to drill that deeply into the Chukchi, which is estimated to hold more recoverable oil and gas than any coastal area outside the Gulf of Mexico, between 1989 and 1991.” [PRO]

SUN EDISON, GOLDMAN FORM $1 BILLION CLEAN POWER FUND—Bloomberg’s Ehren Goosens: “SunEdison Inc. is getting $1 billion in cash and loans to build and buy clean power plants. The world’s biggest renewable-energy developer is forming an investment vehicle with a Goldman Sachs Group Inc.-managed fund, according to a statement Monday. SunEdison shares surged after the close of regular trading in New York. The Goldman-managed fund, West Street Infrastructure Partners III, will provide $300 million in equity and a group of banks that includes Bank of America Corp. and Deutsche Bank AG will supply $700 million in debt.”

OIL PLATFORM OPERATOR FACES CRIMINAL CHARGES—The Associated Press: “Oil platform operator Black Elk Energy is facing federal criminal charges in connection with a November 2012 explosion off Louisiana’s coast that left three workers dead and others badly injured. Multiple media outlets report that U.S. Attorney Kenneth Allen Polite Jr. of the Eastern District in Louisiana filed a six-count criminal complaint against Houston-based Black Elk Energy Offshore Operations last week. Polite says Black Elk and its contractors failed to comply with federal safety regulations on the platform, located about 20 miles south of Grand Isle, Louisiana.”

VIDEO OF THE DAY: Jason Bordoff, founding director of Columbia University’s Center on Global Energy Policy and a former energy adviser to President Barack Obama says easing the 40-year ban on oil exports won;t have a big effect on gasoline prices.

RABBIS BACK IRAN DEAL: Rabbi Steven Bob, Rabbi Sam Gordon, Rabbi Rachel Mikva and Rabbi Burt Visotzky write an op-ed for the Religion News Service in support of the Iran nuclear deal. They claim to represent more than 300 rabbis who also back the accord. "The deal with Iran seeks to prevent Tehran from obtaining a nuclear bomb while also reaffirming the United States’ commitment to the pursuit of peaceful foreign policy solutions. We are not naive about the dangers of Iran’s nuclear program and regional ambitions; we embrace the agreement precisely because it is our best available option to ensure the security of the United States, Israel, and the entire world."

U.S. LAUNCHES SEED PROGRAM FOR RAVAGED LANDS—The Associated Press: “Federal authorities announced a plan Monday to produce massive quantities of seeds from native plants that can be quickly planted to help land recover from natural disasters such as wildfires and hurricanes. The program will make landscapes more resilient and healthier, especially Western rangelands where massive wildfires have been an increasing problem, the U.S. Department of the Interior said.”

ALASKA’S HYDROKINETIC ENERGY—The Washington Post’s Chris Mooney: “This summer, researchers with the Alaska Center for Energy and Power, a research institute at the University of Alaska at Fairbanks, have come [to Nenana, Alaska] with Oceana Energy, a small private energy firm, to test a “hydrokinetic” turbine that draws energy from the flow of the river. From a barge that’s held in the water by a three-ton anchor, they lower the white, doughnut-shaped device (with short blades on the inside and out) through a moon door — and it starts to turn when water hits it. It kicks up a spray — at least until the turbine is submerged.”

THE WIKI WARS: The Post’s Mooney also reports on research from New York-based professors that illustrates the fraught pursuit of climate science through the number of edits on Wikipedia pages dedicated to same. Researchers found "that 'global warming' and 'evolution' get way more edits than entries on other scientific issues. That’s presumably in part because on these contentious topics, science doubters are constantly trying to get their point of view through, even as other Wikipedia editors steadily push back."


--Oil hits a six-year low: Bloomberg reports an historic glut continues to depress oil prices.

"WTI for September delivery dropped 63 cents to settle at $41.87 a barrel on the New York Mercantile Exchange. It was the lowest close since March 2009. The volume of all futures traded was 9.4 percent above the 100-day average at 2:45 p.m. Futures are down 21 percent this year. Brent for October settlement fell 45 cents, or 0.9 percent, to end the session at $48.74 a barrel on the London-based ICE Futures Europe exchange. The European benchmark crude traded at a $6.33 premium to WTI for the same month."

** A message from IPPNY: We are exploring the Evolution of Energy Policies and Emerging Technologies at our 30th Annual Fall Conference! Hear from Angela O’Connor as she provides insights and gives her perspective on the state of energy in the northeast. This year’s program features panel discussions on the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s Clean Power Plan to reduce carbon dioxide emissions at existing power plants and on the Reforming the Energy Vision proceeding, better known as REV, which seeks to use state of the art energy technologies to decentralize electricity generation and transmission in New York State. IPPNY conferences regularly attract well over 100 energy industry executives, policy makers and members of the financial and legal communities. To make sure you are part of the discussion, Register Today! **

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