Capital Energy: New NYPA exec, clean energy jobs decline, ‘restless’ about oil …

May 28, 2014 by  
Filed under Wind Energy Tips

By Scott Waldman and David Giambusso

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NEW TOP EXECUTIVE AT NYPA: The New York Power Authority trustees elected Robert F. Lurie to serve as NYPA’s executive vice president and chief financial officer, responsible for overseeing the financial operations of the statewide public power utility, which owns and operates 16 power plants and more than 1,400 circuit-miles of transmission lines.

Lurie’s duties will include forecasting and budgeting, financial planning and controls, managing investment programs and debt, and leading the enterprise risk and physical asset insurance-risk management activities. In addition, he will also oversee NYPA’s strategic planning, treasury and controller functions.


  • Capital Energy: FERC says no; NY’s wood pellet loss
  • FERC will not delay Lower Hudson capacity zone
  • Capital Energy: Pipeline fight bolsters nuclear facility; Anti-bottleneck bill introduced


CLEAN ENERGY JOBS DECLINING: New York is still a leader in adding clean energy jobs, but on the whole the market for new jobs is shrinking fast, the Houston Chronicle’s Jennifer Dlouhy reports. Environmental Entrepreneurs release a report saying that while the U.S. added “5,600 new renewable energy and clean transportation jobs nationwide announced during the first quarter, that’s fewer than half the 12,000 reported in the same time frame last year, and marks a steep drop from the past two quarters.”

LOCAL RESISTANCE TO OIL TRAINS: From Albany to New Brunswick, resistance to oil trains is mounting as the North American rail corridor sees a boom in oil transport, Reuters reports. “Residents and officials are restless, following six fiery derailments in the past 10 months. Some want to limit or halt the traffic, fearful that existing precautions will not prevent deadly blasts, air and waterway pollution, or nuisances including nasty odors.”

– State and federal regulators this summer will evaluate 500 miles of railroad track statewide over which crude oil tank cars travel and will also craft specific oil spill cleanup plans based on population and environmental concerns, Brian Nearing reports for the Times Union.

THE TROUBLE WITH TURBINES: The New York Times reports that while wind turbines are catching on in the popular imagination, only a few of the rooftop variety exist in New York City. A new installation went up recently in Long Island City, but environmental experts say the rooftop windmills are not as practical as other means of “green building” efficiencies.

“A tiny windmill on a big building is just silly — it might as well be a pinwheel,” said Russell Unger, executive director of the Urban Green Council. “It’s a lovely idea, if people want to pay for it and test it out, but as far as return on investment goes, it’s a waste compared to more insulation and efficient building systems.”

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.

TIMES HITS CHRISTIE ON PINELANDS PIPELINE: After the Pinelands Commission turned down Chris Christie’s plan to build a pipeline through the New Jersey’s Pine Barrens, the governor sought to pack the commission with supporters who would green-light the project. The Times’ editorial board says the move is “would be another blot on his record.”

CLINTON, KEYSTONE AND 2016: (via Politico) Andrew Restuccia and Maggie Haberman write for Politico: “The Keystone XL pipeline is becoming another potential 2016 headache for Hillary Clinton. Clinton is keeping her silence for now on the proposed oil pipeline, a project that has split her party, posed difficult choices for Democrats on this year’s ballot and created a huge lobbying industry in D.C. But the Obama administration’s repeated delays in deciding on Keystone are increasing the odds that the issue will still be lingering if she runs for president — and some of her potential green supporters are clamoring for her to take a stand now.”


WAITING ON OBAMA’S CARBON PLAN: The energy world is waiting to see what President Obama’s much-anticipated plan to cut carbon emissions from power plants will hold for states and industry. The Wall Street Journal reports that cap-and-trade will likely be a key part of the strategy.

– Greens criticize radio ad: Environmental groups have asked radio stations to pull an ad that criticizes EPA’s proposed greenhouse gas regulations for power plants sponsored by the National Mining Association, Erica Martinson reports for Politico. The NMA radio spot blasts EPA carbon regulations on power plants, saying: “EPA admits these regulations will do little to reduce carbon emissions, and the U.S. Department of Energy says they could push wholesale electricity costs up 80 percent.” But environmental groups say the ad is deliberately misleading and untrue.

CAPACITY PRICING WILL RAISE UTILITY BILLS: While the Lower Hudson Valley battles with FERC to end the regional capacity zone in New York, PJM Interconnection LLC, operator of the country’s largest energy grid will be establishing their own capacity zone for plants producing power between Newark, N.J. and Chicago, The Wall Street Journal’s Timothy Puko reports. That could mean higher utility prices throughout North America.

STOCKPILING NUCLEAR WASTE: The Associated Press examines the problem of storing spent radioactive fuel from the nation’s nuclear reactors. “The steel and concrete containers used to store the waste on-site were envisioned as only a short-term solution when introduced in the 1980s. Now they are the subject of reviews by industry and government to determine how they might hold up — if needed — for decades or longer.”

BILL TRACKER: Three interesting energy-related bills in Tuesday’s bill tracker:

– A846A (S4045A): The bill would make companies and landowners liable for damage caused by fracking if it can be determined that the damage was caused by the drilling. Current law only allows homeowners, businesses and municipalities to sue for damages if neglect can be proved.—AM Barbara Lifton and Sen. Liz Krueger—Assembly environmental conservation committee, off the floor, Wednesday

– S7007 (A9503): This bill would direct the public service commission to study gas and electric prices from November 1, 2013 to April 30, 2014, in an effort to discover the causes of large price increases and provide recommendations to the legislature.—AM Andrew Hevesi and Sen. George Maziarz—Senate finance committee, 11 a.m. Wednesday, Room 124 CAP

– S6867: Wednesday would add six ex-officio members to the Public Service Commission. Sen. Mike Ranzenhofer, Senate energy and Telecommunications Committee, 10 a.m., Room 709 LOB


– Columbia’s Center on Global Energy Policy and the Harriman Institute host James Henderson, Senior Research Fellow, Oxford Institute for Energy Studies, on his new book: International Partnership in Russia: Conclusions from the Oil and Gas Sector. Wednesday, May 28, 2014 6:00 pm – 7:30 pm

– Also on Wednesday, FBR hosts a symposium of energy execs Wed, May 28, starting at 7a.m. 109 East 42nd Street Park Avenue at Grand Central New York, New York 10170.

– Platts 9th Annual Northeast Power and Gas Markets Conference starts on Thursday May 29 and runs two days at the New York Marriott Downtown, West Street, NYC. FERC Commissioner Philip Moeller and PSC chair Audrey Zibelman are among the speakers.

FROM POLITICS TO GREEN POWER: The New York Times’ Diane Cardwell profiles Tom Matzzie, a former national political operative who is using the same principle that gets people involved in politics to get them involved in alternative energy sources: make it easy.

“The vision is to find an easy way that we can give people to make a difference in the energy space — and easy is the operative word,” Mr. Matzzie said. “A big part of our value proposition is you don’t have to have a construction project on your roof to make an impact.”

PIPELINE EXPLOSION: A natural gas pipeline explosion in northwestern Minnesota this weekend, Valley News Live reports. No one was injured in the explosion, which happened underneath a farm field.

Tyler Miller, Warren, MN: “It sounded like thunder. I didn’t’ think anything of it. I looked out and all of a sudden shooting flames out of the ground. I shook the house, pretty loud.”

HEDGE FUNDS PICK UP OIL: From Bloomberg: “Hedge funds raised their net-long position in benchmark West Texas Intermediate futures by 4.1 percent in the week ended May 20, U.S. Commodity Futures Trading Commission data show. Prices climbed to a one-month high.”

Crude supplies fell the most in four months in the week ended May 16, the U.S. Energy Information Administration said. Refineries produced a record amount of gasoline before the holiday, the start of the summer driving season.”

– Brent falls, WTI steady, Bloomberg reports. “Brent for July settlement ended the session at $110.32 a barrel on the London-based ICE Futures Europe exchange. Volume was 87 percent below the 100-day average at 1:24 p.m. New York time. Prices have lost 0.5 percent this year. WTI for July delivery slid 17 cents to $104.18 a barrel in electronic trading before the 1 p.m. trading halt on the New York Mercantile Exchange.” The floor at NYMEX was closed Monday for the holiday and transactions will be booked today.

EU IN A BIND WITH RUSSIA: Russia has “gone rogue,” and even tensions subside in Ukraine, Europe needs to find more reliable energy sources writes Alan Riley a professor of energy law at The City Law School at City University, London. In an op-ed for The New York Times, Riley writes that not only supply, but routes are affected by the ongoing conflict.

“In all, (Kremlin-controlled) Gazprom provides 27 percent of Europe’s gas supply. Fifteen percent via Ukraine, and the rest through the Nord Stream pipeline under the Baltic Sea and the Yamal pipeline through Belarus and Poland. That 15 percent is much more significant than it might appear because some European Union member states, such as Bulgaria, Romania and Slovakia, are largely isolated from the rest of the market and would have difficulty replacing any losses quickly. Moreover, supplies cannot easily be redirected to the Yamal and Nord Stream pipelines. Even if that were so, they would not be able to replace all 80 billion cubic meters transited across Ukraine in 2013.”

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