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POLITICO New York Energy: PSEG balks at cost of green options; what Exxon doesn't know

08/22/2016 10:00 AM EDT

By David Giambusso and Scott Waldman

Good morning! You are receiving the complimentary synopsis of the POLITICO New York Pro Energy newsletter. Pro subscribers are receiving an enhanced version of this newsletter at 5:45 a.m. each weekday, which includes a look-ahead and robust analysis of energy policy news driving the day. If you would like the Pro version of this newsletter, along with customized real-time insights on New York energy, please contact us here and we will set you up with trial access. Thank you for reading!

PSEG: GREEN OPTION TOO COSTLY - Newsday's Mark Harrington: " Modernizing two sections of the LIPA electric grid with green-energy technologies would have cost up to six times more than a traditional underground cable, according to a PSEG analysis of the options. PSEG Long Island last year reviewed proposals to deal with power gaps in Glenwood Landing and Far Rockaway to meet new reliability requirements. Normally, a utility would turn to a high-voltage power cable to address the gap. But the state's new Reforming the Energy Vision initiative called for utilities to solve grid challenges with new technologies, including smart grids, remote-controlled thermostats that help reduce peak power use, and solar and wind power. After months of analysis, however, PSEG found the costs were just too high."

WHAT EXXON DOESN'T KNOW - The New York Times' John Schwartz: " For more than a year, much of the public scrutiny of Exxon Mobil was captured by the #Exxonknew hashtag - shorthand for revelations about decades-old research on climate change conducted by the company while it funded groups promoting doubt about climate science. Articles about that research have energized protests against Exxon Mobil and the fossil fuel industry and had a role in initiating queries by at least five attorneys general, led by Eric T. Schneiderman of New York. Early on, his office demanded extensive emails, financial records and other documents from the oil company, leaving many observers with the impression that a deeper look into the company's past was the focus of the investigation. But in an extensive interview, Mr. Schneiderman said that his investigation was focused less on the distant past than on relatively recent statements by Exxon Mobil related to climate change and what it means for the company's future."


--Attorney General Eric Schneiderman must have hit a wall with his Exxon climate-change probe, since he's suddenly changed his target, the New York Post editorial board says.

--Fred LeBrun discusses the politics surrounding the Hoosick Falls hearings.

--Cuomo dispatched firefighters from the Department of Environmental Conservation to help with wildfire season in western states.

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ALL EYES ON BLOCK ISLAND - USA Today's Bill Loveless: "The first offshore wind energy farm in the USA is up and nearly ready to go, marking a new chapter in the nation's changing electricity grid."

WAITING FOR ENERGY STORAGE - The San Diego Union-Tribune's Rob Nikolewski: "In a fast-developing industry teeming with technologies that promise to be the next big thing, energy storage appears to be the biggest."

ENGLISH VILLAGE STAYS GREEN - The New York Times' Tatiana Schlossberg: "This small village of about 1,000 people looks like any other nestled in the countryside. But Ashton Hayes is different in an important way when it comes to one of the world's most pressing issues: climate change. Hundreds of residents have banded together to cut greenhouse emissions - they use clotheslines instead of dryers, take fewer flights, install solar panels and glaze windows to better insulate their homes."

EDITORIAL: TRUCKING INDUSTRY WELCOMED EPA RULES - The New York Times' editorial board: "With most of President Obama's efforts to combat climate change tied up in litigation, it is heartening, if not downright astonishing, to see an industry targeted by an aggressive rule to reduce greenhouse gases welcoming that rule. It is also heartening to be able to provide proof to a reflexively hostile Congress - whose members yap incessantly about 'job-killing regulations' and 'executive overreach' - that regulators and industry can, in fact, produce a mutually acceptable result."

PIPELINES FOR PEACE - Bloomberg's David Wainer: "The potential to benefit from new gas discoveries has created a rare opportunity for eastern Mediterranean countries including Israel and Turkey to forge closer ties, according to U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry's envoy on energy affairs."

DEADLY PARASITE CLOSES PARTS OF YELLOWSTONE RIVER - The Associated Press: "Closures on a 183-mile stretch of the Yellowstone River and hundreds of miles of other waterways could continue for months while biologists try to prevent the spread of a parasite believed to have killed tens of thousands of fish."

OPEC HELPED OIL PRICES - Bloomberg's Mark Shenk: "OPEC has done it again. Talk of a potential deal to freeze output helped push oil close to $50 a barrel and prompted money managers to cut bets on falling prices by the most ever."

AVERAGE PRICE OF GASOLINE IS $2.17-The Associated Press: "The average price of gasoline in the U.S. is up by over half a cent to $2.17 a gallon for regular grade. Industry analyst Trilby Lundberg said Sunday higher crude oil prices are causing refiners and retailers to bump up their prices."

SHALE DRILLERS TIPTOE BACK TO OIL PATCH-The Wall Street Journal's Erin Ailworth and Timothy Puko: "As the price of U.S. crude marches back toward $50-a-barrel territory, several big shale drillers are tiptoeing back into the oil patch, and that is making some energy experts nervous."

INVESTOR UNDERESTIMATING CHESAPEAKE-The Wall Street Journal's Spencer Jakab: "Six months ago, Chesapeake Energy found itself with a tiny market value despite its vast oil and gas acreage. The market underestimated that the company's efforts to buy itself time could create a virtuous cycle. Since a story made the rounds in February that Chesapeake had hired bankruptcy counsel, investors who realized the company's chances of survival were significantly higher than zero have done well. Chesapeake's shares are valued now at four times as much as in those dark days."


--U.S. oil settled higher Friday in a banner week for crude prices, The Wall Street Journal reports.

--Natural gas lost on persistent concerns about too much supply, the Journal reports.

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