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POLITICO New York Energy: New Jersey targets RGGI proposal -- NYSEG reconsiders transmission line -- Formula E comes to Brooklyn

By Marie J. French and Danielle Muoio | 07/06/2018 10:00 AM EDT

NJ SETS TIMELINE FOR RGGI RULES — POLITICO's Danielle Muoio: The Department of Environmental Protection plans to publish a set of proposed rules later this summer that will outline New Jersey's re-entry into the Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative, the cap-and-trade program from which the state withdrew seven years ago. Though the DEP's decision demonstrates how state officials are making headway on one of Gov. Phil Murphy's biggest environmental promises, big questions still remain. Environmental groups have been pressuring state officials to set an aggressive emissions cap — a key aspect of the rulemaking process that will determine how effective the program is at reducing emissions within the state. The proposed rules will also shed light on how funds earned through RGGI would be used by the state. DEP spokesman Larry Hajna declined to provide specifics on where the DEP is looking to set its emissions cap. The rules proposal is subject to a public comment period and could change later on. The agency has said it could take up to eight months to formally adopt the rules. "The DEP is moving forward aggressively with the necessary steps to rejoin RGGI as soon as possible, and we are optimistic about the process," Commissioner Catherine McCabe said in a statement. Read more here.

NYSEG RECONSIDERS TRANSMISSION LINE — Press & Sun-Bulletin's Jeff Platsky: "A temporary hold has been placed on a proposed 345-kilovolt power line that would cut through the Town of Maine, Cortland and Onondaga counties. The entire project could canceled. Landowners along the route from Oakdale to LaFayette received a letter last Friday from a New York State Electric & Gas Corp. representative saying the project is being reviewed in light of new electricity demand forecasts. 'During our most recent annual transmission reliability study process, it became clear that the current load forecasts from the New York Independent System Operator, which represent a significant reduction from prior forecasts, requires NYSEG to perform a reassessment of the need' for upgrades, wrote Bob Pass, the utility's regional manager for community outreach and development." Read more here.

FORMULA E COMES TO BROOKLYN — The New York Times' Jack Ewing: "Back in the early days of the automobile, racetracks were proving grounds for newfangled inventions like shock absorbers, disc brakes and seatbelts. Something similar is happening at the dawn of what may be the age of battery-powered transportation. It was on vivid display in Zurich last month, as the silence of a warm summer Sunday was broken by a high-pitched sound reminiscent of the rebel fighters attacking the Death Star. The whine came from battery-powered racecars running laps on a course laid out on the streets of Zurich — the first urban circuit race in Switzerland in more than half a century. On June 10, the normally staid Swiss banking city hosted the Formula E series, which will culminate in Brooklyn on July 14 and 15." Read more here.

GOOD FRIDAY MORNING: Let us know if you have tips, story ideas or life advice. We're always here at dmuoio@politico.com and mfrench@politico.com.

And if you like this letter, please tell a friend and/or loved one they can sign up here.

AROUND NEW YORK:

— Western New York is a treasure trove of marine fossils from the ancient upstate ocean.

— The DOH and DEC will study why Staten Island has a higher incidence of cancer.

— RTO Insider has a dispatch from the Renewable Energy Conference in Poughkeepsie.

— Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer said he stays in touch with Alcoa to make sure the Massena plant stays open. The plant gets low-cost power from NYPA.

— EDITORIAL: Newsday has had it with people building seawalls.

— ICYMI: State grid operators and NYPA have requested the Competitive Power Ventures' plant in Wawayanda to be on standby during this week's heat wave.

— Cypress Creek is pursuing a 100 megawatt solar project in Cambria and Pendleton.

— LETTER: A former RIverkeeper supporter says the group has gone too far in its support of removing a dam that would drain Tillson Lake.

— St. Lawrence County has run out of air conditioners during a hot stretch.

— OPINION: The Manhattan Institute's Robert Bryce criticizes Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez's support of 100 percent renewables.

— A state pathologist has determined a moose found dead this June in Herkimer County was not shot, as originally suspected.

— EDITORIAL: The Poughkeepsie Journal supports the state fining Charter/Spectrum over broadband roll out.

— Green Correctional, a state prison, had to stagger showers and laundry after a water main broke.

ACROSS THE RIVER:

— Federal responders will attempt next week to rescue a humpback whale from a fishing net it has been trapped in for eight months.

— Forecasters are keeping an eye on two tropical storms, but they don't currently pose any threat to New Jersey.

PRUITT OUT — The New York Times' Carol Davenport: "Scott Pruitt, President Trump's administrator of the Environmental Protection Agency, resigned after facing months of allegations over legal and ethical violations. Mr. Trump announced the resignation in a tweet on Thursday in which he thanked Mr. Pruitt for an 'outstanding job' and said the agency's deputy, Andrew Wheeler, would take over as the acting administrator on Monday." Read more here.

— Last summer one of Pruitt's schedulers was fired after questioning the practice of retroactively deleting meetings from the calendar.

— Read POLITICO's profile of Andrew Wheeler, who will take over the agency.

EPA DRAFTS COAL RULE — The New York Times' Lisa Friedman and Brad Plumer: "The Trump administration has drafted a new proposal to regulate carbon dioxide emissions from coal-fired power plants, one that is far less stringent than the climate plan finalized in 2015 by former President Barack Obama. In writing the new rule to replace Mr. Obama's Clean Power Plan, the Trump administration is essentially accepting, for now, that the federal government is legally obligated to take action to address the greenhouse gases that cause global warming, even as President Trump has dismissed established climate science. But the new proposal is likely to spur only small tweaks to the nation's energy system." Read more here.

PIPELINE BACKERS LAUNCH CHARM OFFENSIVES — Houston Chronicle's Katherine Blunt: "Last July, Allen Fore made a name for Kinder Morgan at the Harrison County Fair in the tiny Ohio town of Cadiz, a rural community atop the burgeoning Marcellus shale fields that span the Appalachian Mountains. The Houston pipeline company's vice president of public affairs, attending the annual livestock auction, bid $4,700 on champion ducks, chickens and rabbits to support the schoolchildren who raised them. It was part of the company's years-long effort to generate support for its $540 million Utopia pipeline by holding dozens of community meetings and otherwise courting favor along a 215-mile path between Cadiz and the Michigan border. The charm offensive is part of the new reality for the nation's largest pipeline companies, no longer able to simply push through projects as rising concerns about climate change, pollution and damage to natural resources prompt unprecedented scrutiny and opposition from environmentalists, landowners and political leaders." Read more here.

CALI MULLS WILDFIRE POLICY CHANGES — UtilityDive's Robert Walton: "California lawmakers will consider changes to the state's policies regarding wildfires and utility liability, following a devastating fire season that has left Pacific Gas & Electric raising the possibility of bankruptcy." Read more here.

MASSACHUSETTS STORAGE CHOICE — Greentech Media's Julian Spector: "Massachusetts wants to use a forthcoming solar program to kick-start its energy storage industry." Read more here.

A SEA OF CHANGE? — Bloomberg's Eric Roston: "On land, CCS isn't just promising in principle—it's been shown to work. There will be more than 20 large-scale capture facilities available by the end of the year, according to the Global CCS Institute. But there's still concern about making sure the CO2, once buried, stays buried. The same can be said for the idea China has about burying CO2 at sea." Read more here.

UN CLIMATE FUND HITS LOW POINT — Bloomberg's Jess Shankleman: "The head of the Green Climate Fund, set up by the United Nations in the fight against global warming, stepped down abruptly after less than two years on the job, leaving the organization's future in doubt." Read more here.

SAUDI'S IPO WOES — The Wall Street Journal's Summer Said, Maureen Farrell and Sarah McFarlane: "Preparations for the public listing of Saudi Arabia's state oil company, a centerpiece of the government's plan to open its economy, have stalled, leaving government officials and people close to the process doubting that it will go forward at all." Read more here.

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