Senate Jumps Out In Front On Renewables

wind This is awesome news. The Senate seems poised to take the lead on the push for robust renewables development in RI, which is great for the environment, ratepayers, and the economy at large.

“This package of legislation encourages the development of renewable energy in Rhode Island,” [Senate President Joseph] Montalbano said. “It gives us the triple benefit of cleaner air, stable utility prices and the surge of economic development associated with producing and using more renewable energy in our state.”

To drive through a major push on an issue like this, it’s imperative that one of the state’s major powers — House leadership, Senate leadership, or the Guv — take the lead. A lot of rank and file environmentalists and renewables developers (and pols, like myself, who aren’t in leadership positions) have been frustrated that none of those powers had made these issues a top priority. We’ve spent a lot of energy pushing, but it’s been unclear where that energy should be focused — it looks like that’s finally changing, and this push could be a ray of hope in an otherwise dreary session.

Also, on Tuesday at 3 at the State House, the new Green Jobs Alliance will be kicking off its legislative effort. Sen. Josh Miller, RI Jobs with Justice, and I have been convening the coalition of labor unions and enviro advocacy groups for the last several months. We hope to be make a big splash this session, push many of these bills forward, and make sure they do as much as possible to help RI’s economy.

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