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POLITICO New York Energy: Nuclear group commissions jobs report; shale boom drops city prices

By David Giambusso and Scott Waldman

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NUCLEAR JOBS REPORT — POLITICO New York’s Scott Waldman: New York’s nuclear power plants contribute about $2.5 billion to New York’s gross domestic product, according to a new industry-funded study. The state’s nuclear industry is responsible for 18,000 full-time jobs in the state through direct and secondary employment, according to the study from the Brattle Group, funded by industry group Nuclear Matters. New York’s nuclear facilities generate $113 million in state tax revenue, the study found, and without the plants, power generation in New York would produce 26 million tons more carbon emissions. Advocates said the report highlights the need to create energy policy that values existing nuclear facilities because of the air pollution-free power they provide.

SHALE BOOM LOWERS NYC ELECTRIC PRICES — Bloomberg’s Naureen Malik: “The shale boom has reached the Big Apple. Wholesale on-peak electricity prices for Manhattan and its four neighboring boroughs averaged $40.99 a megawatt-hour since the start of July through Sept. 11. They’re headed for a record third-quarter low, based on Independent System Operator Inc. data going back to 2006. New York power is becoming so cheap that it’s threatening to fall below prices in the area surrounding Washington. Electricity at the two hubs is only about $1 apart now, down from almost $23 a megawatt-hour in 2013. Cheap gas has subdued power prices even as the East Coast experienced waves of unusually hot weather in the second half of summer. Electricity consumption typically peaks in the third quarter with the heat.”

GE CUTTING JOBS—The Business Review’s Chelsea Diana: “General Electric might shift 500 jobs in Schenectady, New York, Texas, South Carolina and Maine to outside the U.S., citing the Export-Import Bank closure. Of the 500 jobs, 100 would be from Houston, with the remaining 400 from Schenectady, Maine and South Carolina. The jobs would be moved to France, Hungary and China, according to a statement. The move comes as GE is bidding on $11 billion of projects that require export financing. French export credit agency COFACE has agreed to provide a line of credit for global power projects. GE said the jobs would be moved if the company is successful in winning the new contracts.”


--Let’s get ready to renewable: Energyplayers from around the state will be at 250 Broadway in Manhattan today for an Assembly hearing/cage match on large scale renewables and who will own them in New York’s energy future. Friends, it’s going to be a fight.

--Onondaga County Executive Joanie Mahoney wants to study the possibility of putting a beach on Onondaga Lake, one of the nation’s most polluted bodies of water.

--Albany County passed a stringent blasting law aimed at developers of the Northeast Energy Direct pipeline.

--Clarkson University received $1 million in federal funding for a microgrid.

--Was there a mountain lion in a Rochester-area swamp?

--Cleaning up Western New York’s waterways begins with sewage.

--PSEG, NJ reach upgrade agreement: The Record reports, “Plans for speeding up the replacement of aging, leak-prone natural gas lines throughout northern and central New Jersey can move ahead based on a tentative deal reached Tuesday the would raise rates more than 6 percent. The agreement between Public Service Electric & Gas. Co and state regulators on $905 million worth of upgrades scales back a significantly more ambitious proposal.”

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UTILITY STONEWALLED INVESTIGATORS AFTER EXPLOSION — The Los Angeles Times’ Michael Hiltzik: “The 2010 gas pipeline explosion in San Bruno, Calif., which killed eight people, stands as exhibit A for the incompetence of Pacific Gas & Electric, California's biggest utility. But not until now have we had a real window into the sheer juvenile arrogance with which PG&E executives handled government investigators looking into the blast. PG&E employees, one official recalled, were ‘giggling, laughing...sarcastic...mocking...[and] offensive’ when questioned by investigators for the National Transportation Safety Board, which was responsible for determining the causes of the disaster. They were ‘shady’ and their answers ‘fishy.’ Another NTSB investigator recalled an ‘ugly’ and ‘toxic atmosphere’ in his talks with PG&E. A third compared getting information from PG&E to ‘pulling teeth.’”

REPORT: RENEWABLE FEARS UNFOUNDED — The Wall Street Journal’s Gabriel Khan: “California often gets as much as 30% of its power from renewables; there are periods of the day when production can soar to 40%. California legislators just approved a plan that would require half of all power to come from renewables by 2030. Still, the tipping point the power industry feared hasn’t materialized. The experience of California and other states with high concentrations of solar and wind, such as Hawaii, is challenging long-held assumptions about the limits of renewable energy. As the boundary of what is considered possible expands, so does the momentum around investment in new technology and resources.”

BROWN DECRIES ‘POLITICAL POLLUTION’ — The Los Angeles Times’ Chris Megerian: “Last week, Gov. Jerry Brown was struggling in Sacramento with some of his fellow Democrats who refused to support his goal of slashing gasoline use on state roads. But on Tuesday in Los Angeles, where he attended a summit on climate change with American and Chinese leaders, he was targeting Republicans. Brown described ‘political pollution’ in Washington and said the refusal of the party's presidential candidates to tackle global warming is "nothing less than a dereliction of duty. ‘They have failed to respond to a profoundly serious threat,’ the governor said. Republican presidential candidates are gathering at the Reagan Library for a debate on Wednesday.”

DOE GIVES $11M TO STATES FOR CLEAN ENERGY — The Washington Examiner: “The Department of Energy announced Tuesday it will give $5 million to 11 states to help them develop energy plans and take advantage of clean energy opportunities. The agency will give about $2 million to Maine, Tennessee, Virginia and New York. Those four states will use the money to develop energy plans that increase energy reliability and efficiency, bring renewable energy into the electrical grid, involve economic development and include enhanced environmental policies. The department also will spend $3 million in Alaska, Minnesota, Missouri, Nebraska, New Mexico, New Hampshire, Tennessee and Vermont.”

US, CHINA TO ADVANCE CLIMATE DEAL — The Wall Street Journal: Next week, President Barack Obama and Chinese President Xi Jinping will add to earlier pledges to cut greenhouse-gas emissions with specific guidance on what the two countries will do at home to keep climate change at bay, officials said. The United States and China announced Tuesday that cities, states and provinces in both countries would commit to taking parallel steps to address climate change. The participating Chinese cities and provinces, which represent about 25% of total urban emissions in that country, will offer plans to have their emissions peak sooner than the national target of 2030. Beijing and Guangzhou, two of China’s largest cities, will aim for their peak emissions to come as early as 2020.

BIG PR FIRM DROPS COAL, DENIERS — The Guardian: “The world’s biggest public relations company has decided it will no longer work with coal producers and climate change deniers. Edelman said it believes such clients pose a threat to the company’s legitimacy and its bottom line. The exclusion of coal and climate denial, as well as fake front groups that oppose action on global warming, is outlined in internal communications obtained by the Guardian and confirmed by company executives. It signals an important shift in a company that reported earnings of $833m (£540m) and has played a critical role in shaping public opinion in the US and globally about climate change.”

FASTING FOR FRANCIS — The Washington Post: “A handful of people are staging a 10-day fast in D.C. leading up to Pope Francis’s visit, echoing the call the Catholic leader made in June for a more sustainable lifestyle in his sweeping environmental encyclical. The fast is part of an international fast organized by the Global Catholic Climate Movement. The D.C. hunger strike, which is also being organized by the Franciscan Action Network, kicked off with a prayer session in McPherson Square on Monday evening outside of circular structures, called yurts, the activists set up. The structures will remain there for the 10 days and organizers say that McPherson Square — the same park where the Occupy movement camped — will serve as the meeting point for social activist groups during the pope’s visit.”


--Oil boosted by production cuts: The Wall Street Journal reports that potential supply cuts boosted oil futures.

“Light, sweet crude for October delivery gained 59 cents, or 1.3%, to close at $44.59 a barrel on the New York Mercantile Exchange. Brent, the global benchmark, rose 26 cents, or 0.6%, to $46.63 a barrel on ICE Futures Europe.”

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