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POLITICO New York Energy, presented by Nuclear Matters: White House wants NY wind; Cuomo: Don't link Fitzpatrick and Indian Point

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.

NY WIND ENERGY PRIORITY FOR WHITE HOUSE — POLITICO New York’s Scott Waldman: New York has enough potential wind energy to power hundreds of thousands of homes, and the federal government is focusing on the state’s potential for offshore wind farms. “New York is our number one priority at the moment,” said Abigail Ross Hopper, director of the U.S. Bureau of Ocean Energy Management, on Thursday. Hopper spoke at the annual Alliance for Clean Energy New York conference in Albany, in which clean energy industry officials explored the state’s effort to dramatically increase the amount of renewable energy in the next decade. The federal government, which regulates offshore regions, is exploring the lease of an area off Long Island. New York has 16,000 megawatts of potential wind energy to harvest and about a quarter of that will be located offshore, said Bruce Bailey, CEO of AWS Truepower, an Albany-based energy consultancy.

CUOMO ON DIFFERENCE BETWEEN INDIAN POINT AND FITZPATRICK — POLITICO New York’s Scott Waldman: Gov. Andrew Cuomo said Thursday he won’t link the fate of a struggling nuclear plant, the James A. FitzPatrick facility, with Indian Point, a plant he wants to see closed. Entergy owns both the FitzPatrick nuclear facility, located in Oswego County, and the Indian Point facility in Westchester County. The company has said it will make a decision on whether to close FitzPatrick, which is losing millions of dollars annually, within the next two days. The company has for years been seeking to relicense the Indian Point facility. Speaking to reporters at a Thursday event in Syracuse, Cuomo repeated his longstanding position that Indian Point places New York City at an unacceptable risk and should be closed, but called the possibility of FitzPatrick's closure "frightening." “I want to close Indian Point,” he said. “I want to see FitzPatrick stay open, and these are very different situations and we would handle them one at a time.”

-- “FitzPatrick nuclear workers, call 800 number to see if you still have job,” by the Post-Standard’s Tim Knauss: “Just before most of them left work today, the 615 employees of FitzPatrick nuclear station, who have been told their plant may shut down next year, got an email from management telling them to call a toll-free number to see if the decision comes over the weekend.”

** A Message from Nuclear Matters: Providing more than 61 percent of New York’s carbon-free electricity, nuclear energy plants play a vital role in achieving our clean-energy and carbon-reduction goals. New York’s nuclear energy fleet supports about 18,000 jobs and provides $2.5 billion to the state’s GDP. Learn more at **

REMEMBERING SANDY: Hurricane Sandy changed the way we act and think about local infrastructure and its place in a changing climate. Around the region, policy makers remembered the events of 2012 and reported on what progress we have made.

-- “De Blasio promises 2016 deadline for Build it Back repairs,” by POLITICO’s Laura Nahmias: On the third anniversary of Hurricane Sandy, Mayor Bill de Blasio set a self-imposed deadline for the city’s Build it Back repair program, vowing to complete all repairs and construction necessary for more than 9,000 applicants whose homes were damaged in the storm by next year.

-- “Christie concedes mistakes, praises progress in Sandy recovery,” POLITICO’s David Giambusso: Gov. Chris Christie took a rare break from the presidential campaign trail on Thursday to mark the anniversary of Hurricane Sandy in New Jersey and report on the state's recovery from the storm, still a work in progress for many parts of the state. "It's not easy for any of us to look back on three years ago," Christie told reporters and staffers after meeting with a group of local small business owners. "Folks that weren't here and didn't experience it don't understand it ... It's impossible to believe."

--New Jersey and HUD are buying up old houses in the state’s ever expanding flood plain. DEP Commissioner Bob Martin spoke at the Linden home of Jean and Leonard Kostak. Their home since 1964 will soon be demolished and their yard will become a flood buffer zone.


--Activists say a natural lake outside Albany will be destroyed by a proposed pipeline compressor station.

--SUNY will host a conference on green energy in the Southern Tier next month at Binghamton University.

--A downed tree fried about 90 home electrical meters in a rural area outside Albany.

--The state’s independent grid operator has named a former Con Edison official as a senior executive.

LOOKING GOOD, FRIDAY: It will be mostly sunny and 54 degrees in Albany today and 58 in New York City. Upstaters may need to fire up their biomass stoves as temperatures dip below freezing tonight. Over the weekend please sit down and make a list of all the energy stories you’d like to see covered. Let us know if you have tips, 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:

SOLARCITY TAKES A DIVE — The Wall Street Journal: “SolarCity Corp. on Thursday reported a wider-than-expected loss in its third quarter and said it plans to focus on cutting costs next year. Shares of SolarCity tumbled 19% in after-hours trading. SolarCity, the solar power company chaired by Elon Musk, said it wants to improve its cash flow and is no longer targeting the same growth levels going forward. The company said it will announce ‘meaningful reductions’ to its 2017 cost targets by its next earnings report. Solar companies have been ramping up installations in the U.S. ahead of a reduction in a key federal tax credit in 2017, when a renewable energy tax credit is scheduled to drop to 10% from 30%. Like its industry peers, SolarCity, which went public in 2012, has been expanding internationally to soften the expected effect of a slowdown in U.S. installations due to the tax credit reduction. For the period ended Sept. 30, SolarCity reported a loss of $234.3 million, compared with a loss of $70.1 million a year earlier.”

RAPIDLY WARMING NEW ENGLAND WATERS — The Washington Post’s Chris Mooney: “A new scientific study says that extremely rapidly warming waters off the New England coast have had a severe consequence — the collapse of a cod fishery that saw too many catches even as overall cod numbers declined due to warmer seas. It’s just the latest in a series of findings and occurrences — ranging from gigantic snows in Boston earlier last winter, which scientists partly linked with warm seas, to a sudden and ‘extreme’ sea level rise event in 2009-2010 — suggesting that this particular stretch of water is undergoing profound changes.”

BATTERIES ON FLIGHTS PIT BOEING AGAINST APPLE — Bloomberg’s Alan Levin: “The smoke alarm first sounded as the United Parcel Service Inc. jumbo jet neared cruising altitude over the Persian Gulf. Within 2 1/2 minutes, a blaze in the cargo hold grew so hot it distorted steel flight controls, making the plane difficult to fly. Acrid smoke poured into the cockpit, blocking the pilots’ view of instruments ... The plane crashed 20 minutes later in a ball of fire near Dubai, killing Captain Doug Lampe and his co-pilot. Crash investigators, whose report relayed the final moments in the cockpit as captured by the flight recorders, said a load of flammable lithium batteries was at least partly responsible for the 2010 crash of UPS Flight 6. Yet, five years later, such shipments continue, including on some passenger flights. Negotiators at the United Nations’ International Civil Aviation Organization in Montreal on Wednesday voted not to ban lithium batteries as cargo on passenger planes, according to two people familiar with the action who weren’t authorized to speak about it. But they continue to debate other restrictions, which could be announced Friday when the meetings adjourn. Among the restrictions being considered are ones that would require the batteries to be shipped less than fully charged, or changes to the hazardous cargo reporting and packaging requirements. The discussion pits the rapidly expanding industry that builds power packs to run everything from Apple Inc. iPhones to electrical grids, against giants of the aviation industry, Boeing Co. and Airbus Group SE, which warned passenger carriers in July against carrying lithium-battery cargo shipments until new protections can be developed.”

LOW OIL PRICES CRUSHING TAR SANDS — Vox’s Brad Plumer: “The fight over the Keystone XL pipeline in the United States has always been a fight about Canada's oil sands. Those sands contain vast reservoirs of crude, more than enough to cook the planet. So, in an effort to limit development, environmentalists have been trying to block pipelines that might facilitate expansion. Like Keystone. Increasingly, though, this whole debate is becoming moot, at least for the foreseeable future. Over the past year, global oil prices have been plummeting. And, in response, many companies have been backing away from the oil sands, finding they can't make the economics of new projects work.”

GULF STATES SETTLE WITH DEEP HORIZON RIG OWNER — The Associated Press: “A settlement has led to official dismissal of federal lawsuits filed by the five Gulf of Mexico states against the owner of the offshore drilling rig involved in BP’s 2010 Gulf of Mexico oil spill.

U.S. District Judge Carl Barbier dismissed the suits Thursday against Transocean. Alabama, Florida, Mississippi, Louisiana and Texas joined Transocean in requesting the dismissal recently. Alabama is expected to receive $20 million from the settlement. Documents from the other states indicate Louisiana will get $4 million; Texas, $2 million; Florida, $5 million. Mississippi’s share hasn’t been released. The Transocean settlements are far less than settlements announced earlier this year between rig operator BP and the states. That settlement, which also involved the U.S. Justice Department, is estimated to be worth more than $20 billion.”


--Oil prices were down last night: The Journal reports oil was struggling Thursday night with news of increased Russian production.

“Nymex prices are down 19 cents at $45.87/bbl, Brent prices are down 5 cents at $48.75/bbl.”

** A Message from Nuclear Matters: Some of America’s existing nuclear energy plants face early closure due to current economic and policy conditions. Providing more than 62% of America’s carbon-free electricity, existing, state-of-the-art nuclear energy plants play a vital role in achieving our clean-energy and carbon-reduction goals.

In New York, nuclear energy plants provide 31 percent of the state’s electricity and 61 percent of our carbon-free electricity. The existing nuclear energy plants in New York also support about 18,000 jobs and provide $2.5 billion to the state’s GDP.

If we want to keep New York working, we need policies that will keep New York’s state-of-the-art nuclear energy plants working for all of us. Join us **

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