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POLITICO New York Energy, presented by Professional Women in Advocacy Conference: Suny Poly defends NYSERDA transfer

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.

SUNY POLY: PROPERTY TRANSFER PART OF STATE COMMITMENT TO CHIP FAB INDUSTRY—POLITICO New York’s Scott Waldman: The SUNY Polytechnic Institute says its effort to acquire a nearly 300-acre parcel of land in Saratoga County is part of a commitment the New York State Energy Research and Development Authority made to the school a year ago. The property transfer price for The Saratoga Technology + Energy Park is listed as $1 in a draft contract between NYSERDA and Fuller Road Management Corp., a nonprofit that leases and develops property for SUNY Poly, POLITICO New York reported Wednesday. The transfer was abruptly put on hold this week after a NYSERDA board member questioned the deal in a public meeting.

--The Albany Times Union’s Larry Rulison reports that the transfer makes sense because Cuomo is streamlining NYSERDA and SUNY Poly is moving more into renewable energy.

ADMINISTRATION PROJECT SPEND—The state on Wednesday announced $175 million in support for five large-scale clean energy projects throughout New York.

**A message from Professional Women in Advocacy Conference: Register today using code POLNY and receive $25 off the Professional Women in Advocacy Conference, November 16-17 in Washington DC. The theme for 2015 is The Modern Advocate. Join 400 women advocates to learn techy tips to improve your advocacy effectiveness. Register Here **


--REV conference today: The Reforming the Energy Vision conference takes place today and Friday in New York City, yes, precisely the same days when Pope Francis will be making his rounds. The Bishop of Rome, while a proponent of renewable energy, is not scheduled to speak at the conference. Here is the conference schedule:

--Jersey wind: The U.S. Department of Interior's Bureau of Ocean Energy Management will auction 344,000 acres off the coast of New Jersey for development of offshore wind power.

--Seeking to encourage real estate projects that enhance neighborhoods and focus on environmental issues, the non-profit Urban Land Institute is kicking off a design contest on Thursday called 2016 Awards in Excellence in Development, POLITICO New York’s Sally Goldenberg reports.

--They killed that poor moose: The Times Union reports the moose that led state officials on a nine-hour moosehunt Wednesday was euthanized because it could not stand up.

--Smart cabbage: The Cauliflower Festival takes place in Margaretville on Saturday, the village that was once the epicenter of cauliflower production in the US. Watershedpost reports that Mark Twain once called cauliflower, “cabbage with a college education.”

--A New Jersey state senator seeks to block water rules: State Sen. Ray Lesniak is attempting to block rules from the state Department of Environmental Protection that he says will cause flooding and pollution.

SWEET THURSDAY: 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:

PAPAL PRIORITIES: CLIMATE CHANGE, POVERTY, IMMIGRATION — The New York Times: “Welcomed with a fanfare of trumpets and a chorus of amens, Pope Francis introduced himself to the United States on Wednesday with a bracing message on climate change, immigration and poverty that ranged from the pastoral to the political. On a day that blended the splendor of an ancient church with the frenzy of a modern rock star tour, Francis waded quietly but forcefully into some of the most polarizing issues of American civic life. Along the way, he underscored just how much he has upended the agenda of the Roman Catholic Church and reordered its priorities. Perhaps no one was more pleased than President Obama, who greeted him with an elaborate arrival ceremony at the White House, where the pope explicitly embraced the administration’s efforts to combat climate change. At a later speech to American bishops, Francis, the first pope from Latin America, pressed for openness to immigrants, marking a signal day for Hispanics in the United States. While the last two popes focused on traditional moral issues like abortion and homosexuality, Francis left those to the side in Mr. Obama’s presence. With the bishops, he spoke about the “innocent victim of abortion” but mentioned the issue as only one of a long list of concerns, including children who die of hunger or in bombings, immigrants who 'drown in the search for a better tomorrow' and an environment 'devastated by man’s predatory relationship with nature.'"

CAR INDUSTRY’S LONG HISTORY OF CHEATING—The New York Times’ Danny Hakim and Hiroko Tabuchi: “Long before Volkswagen admitted to cheating on emissions tests for millions of cars worldwide, the automobile industry, Volkswagen included, had a well-known record of sidestepping regulation and even duping regulators. For decades, car companies found ways to rig mileage and emissions testing data. In Europe, some automakers have taped up test cars’ doors and grilles to bolster the aerodynamics. Others have used “superlubricants” to reduce friction in the car’s engine to a degree that would be impossible in real-world driving conditions. Automakers have even been known make test vehicles lighter by removing the back seats.”

--“The extra pollution from Volkswagen's US cars would've led to an additional 8 to 78 deaths each year. If we extrapolate worldwide, to all 11 million vehicles, that would come to somewhere between 200 and 1,800 premature deaths annually,” Brad Plumer writes at Vox.

--A New York consumer is one of the first to sue, claiming all the reasons he bought his VW were lies.

CLINTON RELEASES ENERGY AND CLIMATE PLAN: “We shouldn’t be building a pipeline dedicated to moving North America’s dirtiest fuel through our communities — we should be focused on what it will take to make America the clean energy superpower of the 21st century. For too long, the Keystone XL pipeline has been a distraction from the real challenges facing our energy sector — and the job-creating investments that we should be making to meet them. Building a clean, secure, and affordable North American energy future is bigger than Keystone XL or any other single project. That’s what I will focus on as president. That’s why today I am announcing a comprehensive strategy to modernize American energy infrastructure and forge a new partnership with Canada and Mexico to combat climate change across the continent, unleashing billions in investment, delivering reliable and affordable energy, protecting the health of our families and communities, and creating good-paying jobs and careers.”

IN COLORADO, EPA HEARS DIVERGENT VIEWS ON METHANE—The Associated Press: “Over-regulating methane emissions could discourage the use of environment-friendly natural gas, an energy industry representative told the Environmental Protection Agency on Wednesday. However, a former Colorado air quality official countered that such controls would be a cost-effective way to fightclimate change. The EPA heard radically different views as it opened public hearings in Denver on its proposal to slash allowable methane emissions from oil and gas production. Sessions were also scheduled in Dallas on Wednesday and in Pittsburgh on Sept. 29.”

CORPORATIONS SET RENEWABLE ENERGY GOALS—The New York Times’ Justin Gillis and Nicholas St. Fleur: “Some of the world’s most prominent companies are expected to set a long-term target on Wednesday of powering their operations entirely with renewable energy, the latest in a wave of commitments suggesting that corporations are becoming more serious about battling global warming. In addition, backers of a campaign to divest from fossil fuels announced Tuesday that investment managers controlling assets of $2.6 trillion had joined their effort, a 50-fold increase from a year ago and a sign that the divestment movement had spread far beyond its modest origins on American college campuses. Nine major companies are expected on Wednesday to join a global coalition of firms intent on converting to renewable energy. The new members include Johnson & Johnson, Procter & Gamble, Starbucks, Walmart and Goldman Sachs.”

HARNESSING AIRPLANE NOISE FOR ENERGY—Gizmodo’s Kelsey Campbell-Dollaghan: Boeing wants to ‘harness the intensity of the noise generated at airports by planes taking off and landing, and turning it into electricity that the airport could use to power operations. ‘This acoustic energy is left to dissipate and represents a lost energy resource,’ Toh writes. ‘Heretofore, there has been no way to recycle the acoustic energy generated by aircraft during takeoffs and landings.’ Toh describes all those soundwaves as wasted energy–that we should have started putting to good use a long time ago. The design would change how the average runway looks, lining them with thousands of “acoustic wave collectors” situated along the edges of the runways, not unlike a lighting system. These devices would collect and focus the sounds—eg the vibrations—of the engine’s roar while taking off or landing. Then this vibrational energy would be converted into air flow, powering a turbine that then generates electricity. A substation at the end of each link would collect and transmit this energy to the ultimate source.”

WICKED PISSAH VIDEO OF THE DAY: Wherein a Massachusetts man encounters what he first believes to be a turtle, then a baby whale, then a flounder. The Daily Beast reports the man is a ‘Bostonian’ but our resident Massologist has placed the gentleman slightly north in the city of Malden, which explains his relative ignorance on matters marine biologic.

HALLIBURTON PLANS MORE LAYOFFS — Fuel Fix: Oil field services giant Halliburton is planning more cuts to its workforce, including management positions in North America where the crude slump has been particularly brutal, on top of thousands of layoffs already announced this year. In an internal memo from the company that was posted on the website of an Austin-based consultant, Halliburton laid out a plan to “flatten” its North American business by eliminating multiple layers of management — a decision that will undoubtedly affect Houston-area employees where the company is headquartered. Halliburton also said it will pursue additional cuts to its headcount as oil patch activity continues to falter.

YOGURT GOOD FOR HUMANS, FATAL FOR SKUNKS: The Huffington Post reports that Yoplait yogurt’s signature tapered cups are luring in skunks and squirrels whose little heads then get stuck, often leading to death.

TURNING OFF THE LIGHTS — Bloomberg: “Imagine if your power supplier could tell you that you forgot to turn the bathroom light off or left the stove on, and you could fix it with a tap on your phone. This is the latest perk that Texas power companies including Centrica Plc’s Direct Energy and NRG Energy Inc.’s Reliant are developing in a race to attract and keep customers. In a state where users switch providers more often than anywhere else in the U.S., they’ve already tried everything from doling out gift cards to offering free power on nights and weekends.”


--Oil futures drop again: There was good news early in the day with the EIA reporting lower stockpiles but gains in oil futures were erased with overall torpor in oil markets, globally. The Wall Street Journal reports.

“Light, sweet crude for November delivery settled down $1.88, or 4.1%, at $44.48 a barrel on the New York Mercantile Exchange. Brent, the global benchmark, settled down $1.33, or 2.7%, at $47.75 a barrel on ICE.”

--Natural gas slips: Cooler weather continues to depress natural gas demand.

“The front-month October contract settled down 0.8 cent, or 0.3%, to $2.569 a million British thermal units on the New York Mercantile Exchange. Gas is within 8 cents of the three-year low closing price it hit April 27.”

**A message from Professional Women in Advocacy Conference: Register today for the 2015 Professional Women in Advocacy Conference and join 400 women advocates to learn techy tips to up your advocacy game. Hear from industry experts on using technology to get organized and get your message out. Plus - using social media to promote your cause, pitch the media and communicate with policy makers. This conference is perfect for women working in government relations, public affairs, advocacy, political engagement, community relations or law. PWIA is proud to announce Ted Talk sensation Susan Colantuono will give the keynote address: “The Career Advice You Probably Didn’t Get.” Other speakers include authors, members of Congress and industry experts. Register now using discount code POLNY to get $25 off **

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