THE GREEN ECONOMY
In this week’s video address, Governor Raimondo talks about the Green Economy, the state’s nation-leading efforts to build a clean energy future and about her concerns with potential rate increases on Rhode Islanders’ utility bills. Under the Governor’s leadership, Rhode Island was one of the first half dozen states to join the US Climate Alliance. Earlier this year, Governor Raimondo announced ambitious goals to make our energy system 10 times cleaner and double the number of green jobs by 2020.
Rhode Islanders demand an energy system that is clean, reliable and affordable. Governor Raimondo shares the concerns many have raised about proposed rate hikes to utility bills that could hit hard-working, middle class families this winter. In recent weeks, the Governor has urged her regulatory team to use all of the tools at their disposal to put consumers first.
Every summer, Andy and I try to take the kids to Block Island for at least a day or two. We love stepping off the ferry and walking directly across the street to the Ice Cream Place. There’s so much nostalgia there: the small-town shops and mom-and-pop inns, family friendly beaches, the quiet ponds. It’s such a great escape, and it gives us an opportunity to enjoy our time together.
But Block Island also represents an incredible bridge to the future.
Last year, the Block Island Wind Farm went live. It’s the first and still only off-shore wind farm in North America. And today, all of the electricity on Block Island is produced by the turbines off the coast.
As a state and nation, we need to march more quickly toward a renewable future. When President Trump pulled the United States out of the Paris Accord, I was deeply disappointed. As the Governor of the Ocean State, I couldn’t sit back and let that bad decision put our progress at risk. I was proud to join the Climate Alliance, a coalition of states led by Democrats and Republicans who are committed to achieving the goals of the Paris Agreement.
And I was proud to set our own goals to make our energy system 10 times cleaner and to double the number of green jobs in Rhode Island by 2020. This week, at Quonset, I signed a number of bills to help us hold up our part of the Paris Agreement. We’ll build a greener, renewable future. And when we do that, we’ll create good-paying, steady jobs for Rhode Islanders.
Rhode Islanders demand an energy system that is clean, reliable and affordable. Unfortunately, energy prices across our region are too high. I’m as concerned as anyone about proposed rate hikes that could hit hard-working, middle class Rhode Island families this winter.
A couple of days ago, I was talking with a dad in his mid-30s. His family does OK. Like many Rhode Islanders, he knows his monthly utility bills down to the penny. He told me any increase in those bills means a little bit less each month for his kids’ college accounts. For other families, especially those less fortunate, any increase in the cost for essential services could be the difference between choosing which bill to pay: the utility bill or the doctor’s bill.
I’m urging our regulatory team to use all of the tools at their disposal to put consumers first. And I recommend that Rhode Island families take advantage of our nation-leading efficiency programs.
When I go to Block Island later this month with my family, we’ll visit the Southeast Lighthouse. We’ll look out over Mohegan Bluffs to see the five wind turbines. To me, they are a beautiful addition to our horizon, and a glimpse at our future. I’m going to keep working for better access to clean, reliable, renewable and affordable energy for every Rhode Islander.
Thank you and have a great weekend.