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POLITICO New York Energy, presented by the Independent Power Producers of New York (IPPNY): Cuomo's G.E. love; 'shocking' explosion at Bronx school

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.

CUOMO GIVES ‘A LOT OF LOVE’ TO GE — POLITICO New York’s Jimmy Vielkind: Gov. Andrew Cuomo declined Thursday to specify what incentives New York is offering General Electric to lure its headquarters back to the Empire State, other than to say he put “a lot of love” on the table. POLITICO New York first reported on Tuesday that Cuomo traveled to Fairfield, Connecticut, on July 30 to make a personal pitch to GE executives. A team from Georgia reportedly made a presentation that week as well, and officials from Florida,Ohio and Texas are also in touch with GE. Connecticut, too, apparently is preparing a new incentive package to keep GE. Executives at the company began weighing alternative sites after Governor Dannel Malloy pushed through a budget that included a “unitary tax” that would subject some of GE's out-of-state operations to the state's corporate tax. “I'd rather not talk about what I put on the table, because maybe another state would then hear that and discount what I put on the table,” Cuomo told reporters after an event here.

GAS EXPLOSION AT BRONX HIGH SCHOOL—POLITICO New York’s Eliza Shapiro and David Giambusso: Mayor Bill de Blasio confirmed that a gas-related explosion damaged John F. Kennedy High School in the Bronx on Thursday night and seriously injured three construction workers. Those three workers, who were on the scene at the time of the explosion, have been hospitalized at nearby Jacobi Hospital with "very serious burns", de Blasio said, though they are in stable condition. De Blasio visited the explosion site late Thursday and gave a brief press conference at around 10:30 p.m. De Blasio described "a really shocking scene" upon visiting the school, which was due to open on September 9 along with the city's other public schools.

WHERE THEY STAND ON IRAN — POLITICO New York’s Brendan Cheney: With Congress expected to vote next month on President Barack Obama's proposed nuclear deal with Iran, nearly half of New York's congressional delegation remains undecided or did not respond to questions about their position on the agreement. Thirteen of the state's 27 House members have publicly opposed the deal — including five Democrats and eight Republicans — and just two House members have said they support the deal — Democrats Paul Tonko and Louise Slaughter. Six members responded to inquiries from POLITICO New York by saying they are still undecided and are studying the issue, and six members did not respond to inquiries about the deal. The uncertainty is lingering more than a month after the Obama administration announced the deal, and comes even after both of New York's senators have staked out their position on the issue. Cheney has a full breakdown of where the delegation stands.

--Booker still thinking: Sen. Cory Booker of New Jersey told about 100 Jewish leaders Thursday that he had deep misgivings about the deal but is still weighing whether to support it.

SANITATION SAVIORS — POLITICO New York’s David Giambusso: Five sanitation workers helped save their co-worker's life when he suffered a heart attack while driving them to a breast cancer benefit Thursday, the sanitation department said. Sanitation driver Edward "Eddie" Lapre was driving five women — all civilian administrative workers for the sanitation department — to a breakfast event for an American Cancer Society breast cancer awareness program. Around 34th Street and 6th Avenue, the women noticed Lapre was convulsing.

** A message from IPPNY: Coming to Saratoga Springs for IPPNY’s Annual Fall Conference on September 22? Be sure to secure your special conference room rate at the beautiful Gideon Putnam Resort before August 24! Register now and tell them IPPNY sent you! **


--City Hall cautious on refinery megaproject: POLITICO New York’s Sally Goldenberg reports “the de Blasio administration offered a measured critique of a bold plan to build a multi-million-square-foot mixed-use development in Long Island City, coupled with a foot bridge to Roosevelt Island. Alicia Glen, deputy mayor for housing and economic development, called it "exciting," but cautioned it is "a little out of scale," during an interview on Thursday.”

--Con Ed traffic control workers want better pay: News 12 reports, “Employees for a Con Edison subcontractor held a demonstration Wednesday, calling for better pay and more benefits. The employees work for San Mateo Construction Corporation, which provides traffic control for Con Edison. The utility company also controls the employees' paychecks.”

--NJ green groups mobilize against South Jersey pipeline: The campaign will call on local governments to pass ordinances preventing the pipeline. The groups — including the Sierra Club, the Pinelands Preservation Alliance and Environment New Jersey — are also calling on U.S. Interior Secretary Sally Jewell to step in and stop the project.

--Post praises Heastie: The New York Post editorial board praised Assembly Speaker Carl Heastie for standing up for Indian Point, a position at odds with Gov. Andrew Cuomo.

--J.C. mayor and PSE&G parlay: Jersey City Mayor Steven Fulop declared a ceasefire with PSE&G Thursday after reaching an agreement with the utility to repave every city road he accused it of neglecting.

HAPPY FRIDAY! We’re supposed to see cooler temperatures this weekend, so while you’re reflecting on reduced grid demand and depressed natural gas futures, consider your favorite New York energy reporters. 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. Here’s a handy sign-up link:

NO END TO OIL GLUT—The Wall Street Journal’s Russell Gold: “When oil prices started to edge down a year ago, most energy mavens thought the drop would be small and short-lived. Instead, the price of crude has plunged by almost 60% from its 2014 peak — and suddenly looks likely to stay low for months and maybe years to come. The reason: In the global battle for market share, nobody has backed down. Nobody has even blinked. Not Saudi Arabia, not the U.S., and not even troubled producers from Russia to Iraq. Everyone who can seems locked into pumping as much oil as possible. Far from going out of business, American oil companies have stunned their global rivals by maintaining or even adding production as U.S. prices nose-dived from $100 a barrel to $70 late last year to, as of Thursday, just above $40. Even more surprisingly, the Saudis have actually increased their production in the face of falling prices, in what analysts say is a pre-emptive effort to keep competitors like Iraq from stealing customers in Asia. The result is the energy-industry version of trench warfare, with producers all trying to gain an inch of market share no matter the cost. And it is producing winners and losers around the world, luring American drivers into gas-guzzling pickup trucks while sending the Venezuelan economy into chaos.”

MILES FROM GULF, TOWNS COLLECTING BP MONEY — The Associated Press’ Michael Kunzelman: “Clusters of landlocked municipalities more than 100 miles from the Gulf Coast have secured millions of dollars in BP money through settlements designed to compensate local governments for lost tourism dollars and other economic damage from the company’s 2010 oil spill, according to records obtained by The Associated Press. This week, BP finished making approximately $687.4 million in settlement payments to 383 local government entities in the five Gulf states. Nearly $8 million of that money went to 32 government entities that are more than 100 miles from the coast, in places like the Mississippi Delta and suburbs of central Alabama, the records show.”

STUDY: CALIFORNIA DROUGHT WORSENED BY GLOBAL WARMING — The Washington Post: “California’s drought was spawned by natural weather variations that have bedeviled the West throughout recorded history. But a new study released Thursday says human-caused global warming is worsening the natural phenomenon. The study by Columbia University’s Earth Institute isn’t the first to say warming has played a key role in fueling California’s dry conditions, but it’s the first to measure its impact, calculating that it increased the problem by as much as 25 percent.”

EPA DOWNPLAYS SPILL IT CAUSED — The New York Times: “More than two weeks after a mine spill fouled waterways in several Western states, officials expressed concern Thursday over the long-term effects of contaminated river bottoms as the federal agency that triggered the accident downplayed the dangers. U.S. Environmental Protection Agency workers released more than 3 million gallons of contaminated water Aug. 5 while investigating an inactive mine site near Silverton, Colorado. The spill prompted the shutdown of public drinking-water systems and left rivers in the region tinged a disturbing yellow-orange color that has since faded.”

GE TO BUILD BIGGEST BATTERY CENTER IN CALIFORNIA — Bloomberg: “General Electric Co. agreed to build a 30-megawatt energy-storage system in Southern California, its biggest battery deal to date. Coachella Energy Storage Partners will use the system to provide load balancing, frequency regulation and other services to local utility Imperial Irrigation District, Fairfield, Connecticut-based GE said in a statement Thursday.”

VA. COAL COUNTRY NOT HAPPY WITH WIND — Washington Post’s Jenna Portnoy: “Utility giant Dominion Virginia Power wants to erect as many as 40 wind turbines along eight miles of Appalachian wilderness. It is an ideal spot for the state’s first commercial wind farm, boosters say — and a perfect project to help one of the poorest corners of the nation rebuild an economy destroyed by the decline of coal. And many of the locals want nothing to do with it.”


--Oil gained but don’t get excited: The Wall Street Journal’s Nicole Friedman reports the bottom is nowhere in sight.

“Light, sweet crude for September delivery settled up 34 cents, or 0.8%, at $41.14 a barrel on the New York Mercantile Exchange. The September contract expired at settlement Thursday. The more actively traded October contract settled up 5 cents, or 0.1%, at $41.32 a barrel. Brent, the global benchmark, fell 54 cents, or 1.1%, to $46.62 a barrel on ICE Futures Europe, the lowest settlement since January.”

--Natural gas picked up, too: Friedman reports.

“Futures for September delivery settled up 3.9 cents, or 1.4%, in price at $2.755 a million British thermal units on the New York Mercantile Exchange.”

** A message from IPPNY: Session may be out, but it’s never a bad time to hear from Albany’s energy leaders about upcoming policy issues at IPPNY’s 30th Annual Fall Conference, Power Source: Evolution of Energy Policies and Emerging Technologies. This year’s program features panel discussions on the EPA’s Clean Power Plan to reduce carbon dioxide emissions at existing power plants and on Reforming the Energy Vision, which seeks to use state of the art energy technologies to decentralize electricity generation and transmission in NYS. On hand will be Audrey Zibelman, Chairman of the New York Public Service Commission, and Gil Quiniones, President & CEO of the New York Power Authority, to give updates on REV and other energy initiatives. 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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