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Putin Shakes A Fist


By Clare Foran (@ckmarie) and Jason Plautz (@Jason_Plautz)

PUTIN SHAKES A FIST. Russian president Vladimir Putin said Thursday that he will shut off Russian deliveries of natural gas to Ukraine if the country doesn't pay its energy debts, which Gazprom says amount to over $2.2 billion. (Lukas Alpert, Alexander Kolyandr and Vanessa Mock, Wall Street Journal)


SENATORS PRESS PRESIDENT ON KEYSTONE. A number of Senate Democrats sent a letter to Obama asking for Keystone XL to be approved by the end of May. Senators who signed the missive include Heidi Heitkamp, Mary Landrieu, Mark Begich, Mark Pryor, Joe Manchin, and Joe Donnelly. Read the letter here.

VOTE ON TAX EXTENDERS COULD BE COMING SOON. Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid said he wants to "move this bill sooner rather than later," when asked when he thinks the Senate will vote on a package of tax extenders that includes an extension of the wind production tax credit that recently passed out of the Senate Finance Committee. (Timothy Cama, The Hill)

INTERIOR SECRETARY DEBUTS MITIGATION STRATEGY. Interior Secretary Sally Jewell announced that the agency will take a more far-reaching and proactive approach to mitigation of climate impacts and management of public lands. (Scott Streater, Greenwire)


BP WANTS TO PLAY INTERMEDIARY IN UKRAINE CRISIS. BP executives say the company is in a unique position to help smooth over tensions between the Kremlin and Western nations due to the fact that it holds a close to 20 percent stake in Russian state oil company Rosneft. (Dmitry Zhdannikov and Karolin Schaps, Reuters)

GRID REPORT SHOULD HAVE STAYED UNDER WRAPS. That's the conclusion the Energy Department's Office of the Inspector General has arrived at after looking into a leak of information highlighting grid vulnerabilities. (Laura Barron-Lopez, The Hill)

FERC CHIEF SEEKS TO REASSURE ON GRID SECURITY. Acting Federal Energy Regulatory Commission Chairwoman Cheryl LaFleur said Thursday that the agency is taking steps to shore up the grid in the event of attacks. (Matthew Daly, Associated Press)

N.Y. HEALTH COMMISSIONER HEADS WEST. Nirav Shah, the New York state health commissioner who is heading the state's study on the health risks of hydraulic fracturing, will resign in June to take a position with the Kaiser Foundation Health Plan. He will be replaced by First Deputy Commissioner Howard Zucker. (Dan Goldberg and Laura Nahmias, Capital New York)


L.A., D.C. TOPS FOR CLEAN BUILDINGS. Los Angeles, Washington, and Atlanta have the most Energy Star-certified buildings, EPA said in its annual ranking of cities.

BILL WOULD BLOCK STATE GMO LABELS. A new bill from Republican Reps. G.K. Butterfield of North Carolina and Mike Pompeo of Kansas would put the federal government in charge of testing foods for safety, a voluntary process that is currently widely used. The Safe and Accurate Food Labeling Act would also replace what Butterfield called "a mishmash of labeling standards," but green groups have said it could bypass more stringent state testing programs (Christopher Doering, USA Today)

HARVARD PROFESSORS PUSH DIVESTMENT. Nearly 100 professors at the lauded academic institution are asking the university to divest its fossil-fuel holdings. (Suzanne Goldenberg, The Guardian)

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SHOULD THE PRODUCTION TAX CREDIT FOR RENEWABLE-ENERGY PROJECTS BE REVIVED? Is the legislative outlook for an extension clear as day or cloudy with a chance of showers? What challenges await if the credit does move, and what's the most likely scenario under which it could be passed?

"The notion that renewable energy is a brand new technology that requires government-sponsored nurturing in its early stages is not viable. People have been erecting windmills for centuries, and though the technology today is different from what it was when introduced in Europe in the 12th century, government subsidy isn't needed to promote its development." —Michael Canes, distinguished fellow, LMI

KEYSTONE CONFERENCE CALL. Senate Environment and Public Works Chairwoman Barbara Boxer, D-Calif., and Sen. Sheldon Whitehouse, D-R.I., hold a media conference-call briefing, beginning at 11:30 a.m., to discuss new developments related to the "harmful health impacts" of the Keystone XL pipeline.

FRACKING DISCUSSION. The New America Foundation holds a book discussion on "The Boom: How Fracking Ignited the American Energy Revolution and Changed the World."

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