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POLITICO New York Energy, presented by Nuclear Matters: State denies Indian Point certification; Port Ambrose is dead

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.

INDIAN POINT DENIED — Wall Street Journal’s Joseph de Avila: “New York state has denied the owners of the Indian Point Energy Center a certification, a decision that could complicate their efforts to renew federal licenses for the nuclear-power plant north of New York City.”

PORT AMBROSE VETO — POLITICO’s David Giambusso: After years of outcry from environmentalists and lawmakers, Gov. Andrew Cuomo has vetoed the proposed Port Ambrose liquefied natural gas facility off the coast of Long Island, effectively killing the project. "The reward was not worth the risk and we're going to veto the Port Ambrose plan," Cuomo said during an event at the Long Beach Ice Arena Thursday. The facility would have been a docking station for barges of liquefied natural gas — gas that is cooled and condensed to liquid form for transport. Environmentalists and elected officials had decried the proposal as a potential environmental and security disaster waiting to happen just miles from New York Harbor, and Cuomo had previously expressed reservations about the project.

EPA APPROVES DISMANTLING OF HUDSON RIVER FACILITY — POLITICO New York’s Scott Waldman: The Environmental Protection Agency on Thursday approved General Electric’s plan to dismantle the dredging equipment it has used to clean the Hudson River for the last six years. Environmental and community groups, as well as state lawmakers, have called on GE to do more dredging and to leave the facility in place. Gov. Andrew Cuomo, who is trying to get GE to move its headquarters to New York, has declined to get involved. GE officials had said repeatedly that they met the terms of the dredging agreement and will not complete any additional work. EPA officials have said they cannot legally compel the company to leave the dredging equipment in place. The removal of the facility will not affect future dredging opportunities, EPA officials said.

** 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 **


--A new agreement between the planners of the Constitution Pipeline and state and federal agencies stipulates that avoiding historic properties near the route is the "preferred option" when taking an alternative path is "feasible."

--One of the state’s leading environmental groups has given its annual oil slick award to two top Republican senators for what it calls their inaction on climate issues.

--The New York Power Authority wants to extend the life of two natural gas-burning peaker plants in the Bronx, but community groups are not happy.

--Activists and the Rensselaer County Legislature have agreed to make it more expensive for Kinder Morgan to build its proposed Northeast Energy Direct pipeline.

--Need help with heating? The Democrat & Chronicle reports, “Households throughout the state that need help paying heating bills during winter can begin applying for assistance through the Home Energy Assistance Program starting Monday.

HAPPY FRIDAY? Are you happy, energy readers? Let us know if you’re not. If you are, have a nice weekend. 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 SMOKING — The Associated Press: “The federal government’s proposal Thursday to ban smoking inside and out of public housing nationwide got a decidedly mixed reaction from the people most affected. Some who suffer from secondhand smoke were thrilled, but others, including some non-smokers, worried that it gives the government yet another reason to harass or even evict poor people for doing what would otherwise be a legal activity in the privacy of their own homes. “I think it is completely bogus,” said Devante Barrett, a 24-year-old non-smoker who lives in the Elliot-Chelsea Houses in Manhattan’s gritty Chelsea neighborhood. “You might as well have us all chained up in bondage now.” Smoking is already banned in about 20 percent of the nation’s federally subsidized housing. The Department of Housing and Urban Development wants to extend that to the other 940,000 units around the country, in cities such as New York, Los Angeles, Atlanta and Miami.”

CLINTON’S COAL — POLITICO’s Darren Goode: “Hillary Clinton's proposal for $30 billion in aid for people suffering from the decline of the coal industry drew a mixed-to-hostile response Thursday from critics of President Barack Obama's environmental policies — raising doubts about whether she can arrest the Democratic Party's electoral slide in coal country. The package her campaign outlined includes billions of dollars to shore up coal workers' pension benefits and retrain out-of-work miners or power plant employees to find jobs in other industries. It also includes spending on the so-far-elusive goal of developing ‘clean coal’ technology that would capture and store coal-burning plants' greenhouse gas pollution. The plan, which is similar to proposals from Obama, is meant to help coal-dependent communities navigate the transition toward economies based on cleaner energy sources — something that could have an impact in key 2016 states like Pennsylvania, Ohio, Virginia and Colorado. But industry supporters said it hardly makes up for Clinton's championing of Obama climate and environmental policies that have helped spur the closings of dozens of coal plants across the country.

BIG OIL’S ROUGH PATCH — Bloomberg View’s Paul Barrett: “Big Oil is going through a rough patch. Prices are low and will remain so. President Obama killed the Keystone XL pipeline from Canada. And New York’s attorney general is probing whether ExxonMobil withheld scientific findings that confirmed decades ago that fossil-fuel consumption contributes to global warming. At this tumultuous moment, it’s worth pointing out where symbolism outweighs substance — and shed some light on an industry development that got eclipsed amid all the excitement. Long an opponent of climate-friendly regulation, Exxon began to soften its line on the underlying science — and even embraced the need, at least in theory, to curb greenhouse gases — when Rex Tillerson succeeded Lee Raymond as chief executive officer in 2006.”

RENEWABLES RISING — Forbes: “Renewables represent the future, even if they get far less in subsidies than fossil fuels. At least according to the data in the latest report from the International Energy Agency. The agency’s World Energy Outlook 2015 provides a comprehensive forecast of the use and consumption of energy worldwide. Energy demand is still rising — the IEA estimates that total global energy demand will rise by 33% by 2040 — but a growing proportion of it will come from renewables. The growing popularity of efficiency and regulations promoting efficiency, meanwhile, will also keep a ceiling on overall demand.”

LATEST PRO NUCLEAR OP-ED — Robert Bryce for the L.A. Times: “Climate scientists want the world to use more nuclear energy to help reduce carbon dioxide emissions, yet America's nuclear sector is withering. Unless Congress acts to encourage next-generation nuclear technology, the United States will be relegated to second-tier status when it comes to the development and deployment of smaller, cheaper, safer reactors that could play a crucial role in low-carbon electricity production all over the world.”

NATIVE ADVERTISING: This story by the International Business Times is a press release for the company Etho Capital. That is not disclosed in the IBT piece, but we have a decoder ring here at POLITICO New York and it’s all part of the service.

NO DUH — The Los Angeles Times: “A cradle-to-grave analysis finds driving an electric car in California creates less greenhouse gas emissions than even the most efficient gasoline vehicle. A car running on electricity -- even when power plant emissions are considered -- produces pollution equivalent to a theoretical conventional car with fuel economy of 87 miles per gallon, according to the study, released Thursday by the Union of Concerned Scientists.”

ENERGY LOSES — The Wall Street Journal: Energy stocks were the poster children for a rainy day on Wall Street Thursday. “Energy companies, hit by a selloff in commodities such as oil and copper, dragged down the broader market, with major indexes facing their worst one-day declines in a month. U.S. stocks fell, with the S&P 500 declining 29.03 points, or 1.4%, to 2045.97 as the price of oil tumbled. Energy companies in the S&P 500 dropped 2.4%, bringing their week-to-date decline to 5.4%. Materials companies in the broader index declined 2% as prices of nearly all commodities tumbled.”


--Oil takes a hit: There’s too much, the Journal reports.

“Light, sweet crude for December delivery settled down $1.18, or 2.7%, to $41.75 a barrel on the New York Mercantile Exchange. Brent, the global benchmark, fell $1.75, or 3.8%, to $44.06 a barrel on ICE Futures Europe.”

** 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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