Last week, Rhode Island legislators Sen. Alana DiMario and Rep. Terri Cortvriend introduced bills setting a target of 100% of new cars registered being electric vehicles by 2030. The legislation (H. 7653 and S. 2448) creates a process to plan for the infrastructure and other changes involving cars, trucks, and public transportation in order to meet the 2030 target, which is critical for the state to meet its 2030 greenhouse gas emissions reductions under the Act on Climate. Following Rhode Island’s withdrawal from the Transportation and Climate Initiative, the bill represents a new approach to tackling pollution from transportation, the region’s largest source of emissions.
Update (March 9, 2022): Green Energy Consumers Alliance strongly supports the work of RI Attorney General Peter Neronha and MA Attorney General Maura Healey to make sure this sale is fully vetted before being going through. Last week, Attorney General Neronha appealed the Division's decision, which will bring it to the review of the Superior Court. And the Massachusetts Supreme Court granted Attorney General Healey's motion for a stay on a permit for the sale, which means that the transition to PPL is currently on hold. The RI Superior Court's review begins this month.
Update (February 23, 2022): The Division of Public Utilities and Carriers issued an order today to approve the sale with no additional conditions. Although we think this was the wrong decision for Rhode Islanders, we will work with PPL, regulators, and the General Assembly to ensure that PPL can help the state meet its Act on Climate goals.
One of the biggest questions in Rhode Island’s clean energy future is on the verge of conclusion: will Pennsylvania-based utility PPL succeed in buying National Grid’s Rhode Island electric and gas utilities? If the sale goes through, PPL will become the new utility company for almost all Rhode Islanders.
Transportation is the largest source of climate-warming emissions in both Rhode Island and Massachusetts, so Green Energy Consumers Alliance is focused on finding policy solutions to advance low-carbon alternatives to gasoline. How the states structure their transportation budgets will be a key factor for how they expect to meet 2030 climate mandates.
You may be reading more about climate policy in the news because of COP26, the global conference in Glasgow to address the climate crisis hosted by the United Nations. This work is important for the sake of international cooperation and because climate change is a global issue. However, work on the international scale doesn’t replace the need for strong leadership on the local and state level to enact policies that align with the vision of COP26, as I recently argued in the Boston Globe alongside our allies at The Nature Conservancy.
A bill passed in June 2021 requires the state of Rhode Island to develop a plan to improve statewide access to electric vehicle (EV) charging by January 1, 2022. The state has initiated a stakeholder engagement process to solicit feedback from organizations and individuals about what the plan should look like.
If you’re an EV driver (or if you’d like to drive an EV, but lack of charging infrastructure is holding you back), you’re an expert on this topic. We encourage you to share your experience with the public charging network and what ideas you have to improve charging infrastructure in RI at an upcoming public session.
Compared to parts of the country that have much greater summer cooling needs, New Englanders have more options to keep ourselves comfortable affordably and sustainably. Unless you have someone in your home who needs central air conditioning for health reasons, we encourage you to look to room air conditioners and fans, particularly ceiling fans. Here are some tips, offered by the American Council for an Energy Efficiency Economy.
A few months ago, news broke that National Grid planned to sell the Narragansett Electric and Gas Companies to a Pennsylvania-based company named PPL. In its deal with PPL, National Grid hopes to gain PPL’s business in the United Kingdom in exchange for Rhode Island’s electric and gas customers. However, this is not a done deal: over the coming year, Rhode Island regulators are charged with reviewing whether the sale is in the “public interest.” The Rhode Island Division of Public Utilities’ decision will have significant impacts not just on the two companies, but on consumers, state policy, and climate action.
There are only a few weeks left in Rhode Island’s legislative session, which means we must act urgently to pass crucial legislation for climate action.
Green Energy Consumers policy coordinator Kai Salem speaks at a distanced rally for Act On Climate at the State House this April.
Last weekend, Governor McKee signed the 2021 Act On Climate. Now, Rhode Island has an exciting and urgent challenge ahead of it: meeting the binding climate goals set by this landmark legislation.