Capital Energy: Crude pushback; Russia-China gas deal

May 23, 2014 by  
Filed under Solar Energy Tips

By David Giambusso and Scott Waldman

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CRUDE COMPANY SCOLDS STATE: The company that wants to bring heavy crude oil through New York and down the Hudson River has warned state officials not to overstep their bounds while considering an air permit. In a letter sent to the Department of Environmental Conservation last week, a lawyer for Global Partners asserts that the state is using the community’s concern over the rise of oil trains to operate outside of its authority to regulate air quality. Last year, Global proposed a crude heating facility at the Port of Albany that will be used to transfer oil to barges and ships from trains.

“The concerns over rail transportation should not be used to serve as an indirect attempt to regulate activities outside the jurisdiction of the Department,” attorney Dean Sommer wrote. “The concerns over rail transportation should not be confused with a scientific evaluation of the 2013 air permit modification request.”


  • Capital Energy: Pipeline fight bolsters nuclear facility; Anti-bottleneck bill introduced
  • Bill aims to relieve downstate power congestion
  • Con Ed continuing energy-saving incentive program


– Ulster County officials passed a resolution calling on the state to order full environmental reviews of proposed crude oil facilities in Albany and New Windsor.

CON ED TAKES TEMP: The president of Con Ed said on Wednesday that the company hopes to be able to lessen demand on the power grid in the future by remotely controlling the temperature on home air conditioners. Using “smart” devices will save customers money, but can also be a valuable tool for the utility company to lower demand when the energy grid is experiencing peak demand, “We want the ability on hot summer days, when it’s 100 degrees and it’s baking, to have some ability to control those units so we can tamp down demand,” said Craig Ivey.

– Con Ed’s money for megawatts: The utility is offering cash for buildings that take pressure off the electrical grid this summer, when the utility is forecasting another record-breaking demand for energy. Con Ed will offer up to $500,000 per megawatt reduction for buildings that enroll in the utility’s Distribution Load Relief Program before June 2. More than 700 customers have signed up for the program, representing roughly 180 megawatts of savings, the utility said.

LOCALS URGE LIPA TO TAKE FED MONEY: Local officials are urging LIPA and PSEG to access $1 billion in federal Sandy recovery money to bury transmission lines running from East Hampton to Amagansett. 27 East reports.

ENVIRONMENTAL GROUPS THREATEN TO BLOCK PIPELINE: Environmental groups vowed this week to stop the 150-mile Pilgrim Pipeline which would run from Linden, NJ to Albany carrying Bakken crude oi, The Saratogian reports. “The groups called on Gov. Andrew Cuomo and New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie to oppose the plan, and deny the project utility status that would grant it rights of way and other benefits. In a telephone conference call with reporters, they said 38 different environmental groups have banded together to fight the pipeline.”

EAST HAMPTON GOING ALL RENEWABLE: The Long Island town voted Tuesday night to try and operate on 100 percent renewable electricity by 2020. The East End Beacon reports they are the first town in New York to set such a goal.

PSC SYMPOSIUM TODAY: The PSC will host its first energy symposium today from 9 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. at the Albany Law School, a cosponsor of the event. Speakers will include chairwoman Audrey Zibelman; Ray Brescia, director of the Government Law Center; Richard Kauffman, Governor Andrew Cuomo’s chairman for energy and finance for the state and chairman of the New York State Energy Research and Development Authority; Patricia Hoffman, assistant secretary, Office of Electricity Delivery and Energy Reliability, U.S. Department of Energy; and Jon Wellinghoff, partner, Stoel Rives LLC and former chairman of the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission.

Kim Hanneman, vice president of PSEG’s delivery projects and construction is tasked with spending $10 billion over the next five years on infrastructure upgrades. NJ Spotlight reports.

National Grid’s Rudolph Wynter will join a panel discussion on Aging Infrastructure and Modernization — part of NYISO’s 2014 Energy Conference, “Grid Modernization Competitive Markets: Shaping the Future Electric System,” on June 24 at the Grand Hyatt in New York City.

MONTEREY GAS SHALE OVERSOLD: The L.A. Times reports that the E.I.A. will soon announce California’s Monterey Shale has 96 percent less oil than predicted. Yes, 96 percent. The news was the talk of the energy world from California to New York, though any effects on the Marcellus gas shale remain unclear. Needless to say, the amount of oil in Monterey was significantly over-hyped. “Just 600 million barrels of oil can be extracted with existing technology, far below the 13.7 billion barrels once thought recoverable from the jumbled layers of subterranean rock spread across much of Central California.”

RUSSIA AND CHINA REACH GAS ACCORD: China and Russia have agreed on a deal that will supply China with hundreds of billions of dollars of Russian natural gas, the Wall Street Journal reports.

“China would become Russia’s No. 2 gas market, behind Germany, under the deal, which would also tighten ties between the two neighbors as they seek a way to counterbalance U.S. influence in the world. Mr. Putin signed the accord with Chinese President Xi Jinping while on a two-day visit to Shanghai.”

– Russia is not the only place China is looking for energy. The New York Times reports that Beijing “now has operations, investments or projects across the globe in Africa, the Middle East, South America and North America.”

FERC NOMINEE GRILLED ON ENFORCEMENT: Norman Bay, President Obama’s nominee to head the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission, faced questions from Senators this week over his role in extracting settlements from firms accused of manipulating energy prices, the Wall Street Journal’s Amy Harder reports.

“It’s one thing to be the tough cop on the beat,” said Alaska Sen. Lisa Murkowski, the top Republican on the Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee. “It is quite another to make the rules up as one goes and deny those under investigation basic due process rights.”

Talk to us. If you have a story in the world of New York energy, we want to hear it. Email tips, scoops, ideas and complaints to and Follow us on Twitter at @Giambusso and @scottpwaldman.

CLIMATE ANGER: Climate change is the number one divisive political issue in the country, a new poll has found. That means don’t talk about power plant emissions or rising sea levels with your conservative uncle or liberal cousin at the Thanksgiving table unless you want to get hit with the mashed potatoes.

CONCENTRATED SOLAR: 2014 is the year of concentrating solar power, the U.S. Department of Energy asserts. Concentrated solar power is one of the different types of solar now on the rise in communities across the country, but particularly in the sun-drenched Southwestern states.

U.K. GREEN BANK INVESTING $1.2 BILLION: The U.K. backed Green Investment Bank will be dropping $1.2 billion into renewable energy projects and energy efficiency, Bloomberg reports.

“The bank, capitalized with 3.8 billion pounds of government funds, allocated 668 million pounds to clean-energy projects in the year through March, Chief Executive Officer Shaun Kingsbury said today in a telephone interview. That’s up from 635 million pounds the previous year, though the bank only began operations in November 2012.”

– Some of that money is going to Scotch: Scottish Whisky distilleries will receive $8.5 million from the U.K.-backed green bank to improve energy efficiency and install wood pellet-fueled biomass boilers, Bloomberg reports.

NATIONAL GEOTHERMAL SUMMIT: The fourth annual Geothermal Energay Association summit will be held Aug. 5-6 at The Grand Sierra Resort in Reno.

It will bring together policy makers, utilities officials and industry leaders to discuss “the opportunities and challenges” facing the industry.

SUMMER IS COMING: And gas prices are rising. As Americans prepare to set out on their summer travels, Bloomberg reports an uptick in gas futures. Domestic oil is going up too. “(Gas) futures climbed as much as 1 percent as WTI increased 1.9 percent. Demand for the motor fuel over the past four weeks grew to 8.94 million barrels a day, the highest level since November and an increase of 5.3 percent from a year ago. Memorial Day, which falls this year on May 26, marks the unofficial start of the summer driving season.”

– Domestic crude prices rose to a one-month high yesterday as U.S. stockpiles tumbled, Bloomberg reports. Futures advanced as much as 0.9 percent in New York. Crude supplies dropped by 10.3 million barrels last week, according to the American Petroleum Institute.

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