RHODE ISLAND

RHODE ISLAND

At 1,545 square miles, Rhode Island is geographically the smallest state in the United States but one of the most densely populated for its size, with 1,059,361 residents as of July 1, 2019. For a state that is only 37 miles wide and 48 miles long, it is notable that its shoreline on Narragansett Bay in the Atlantic Ocean runs for 400 miles. Called the Ocean State, Rhode Island is one-third water and includes Block Island further offshore, as well as one of New England’s deep water ports at Providence.

The impacts of climate change upon Rhode Island’s built and natural environments are wide-ranging, discernible and documented, and, in many cases growing in severity. Rhode Island will experience warmer air and water temperatures, more extreme weather events such as droughts, intense precipitation, severe storms and flooding, increasing rates of sea level rise, shorter winters and longer summers, and less snowfall and ice coverage. Climate change has the potential to pose significant risks for Rhode Island’s water, wastewater, surface transportation, and energy infrastructures and utilities, the natural environment, and the health, welfare, and economic well-being of its citizens.

Rhode Island became, in 2007, a member of the Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative (RGGI), a market-based program to reduce carbon emissions from electricity generation in 11 of the northeastern and Mid-Atlantic states. They had already joined a number of New England states in 1996, to implement an electricity restructuring plan that separated power generation from transmission and distribution. The restructuring plan was initially only for industrial customers, but was expanded in 1998 to include commercial and residential customers. As a result, all of the state’s electricity generated by the electric power sector comes from independent power producers. The previous exception was on Block Island—located about 9 miles south of the state’s coastline—which was not connected to the mainland grid and was dependent on local diesel-fueled generators. Generator fuel arrived in trucks ferried to the island. Because fuel prices sometimes caused Block Island’s electricity costs to rise to more than four times the state’s average, particularly in summer when rates and electricity demand increased with the influx of tourists, the island participated in the nation’s first offshore wind project. In May 2017, Block Island Power turned off its diesel generators and began receiving power from an undersea cable installed between an offshore wind farm with 5 turbines, Block Island, and the mainland. The cable allowed, in conjunction with the wind farm, electricity to reach Block Island for the first time and allowed excess wind-generated electric power to be forwarded to the onshore grid.

Rhode Island thus became the first state in the U.S. with an off-shore wind farm (however small). Nonetheless, natural gas provides the bulk of the state’s electricity (and more than any other state) –about 89% in 2020 –2% down from 2019. Most of the rest of the state’s net generation came from solar, wind, and biomass resources with a small amount generated from petroleum and hydropower. This will change radically, when the 400-megawatt Revolution Wind Farm, being developed in Rhode Island Sound by the Danish company Orsted, comes on line in 2024. It is expected to supply a full third of Rhode Island’s electricity with renewables. A number of other renewable-energy projects are also completed or in the pipeline, including large solar farms in places like Cranston and Hopkinton, as well as land-based wind turbines in Providence, Coventry and Johnston. Rhode Island produces neither natural gas nor petroleum.

The residential sector leads Rhode Island’s energy consumption, accounting for about one-third of the state’s total, the fourth-highest share for a state’s residential sector energy use after Connecticut, Vermont & New Hampshire. The transportation sector is a close second, consuming slightly less than 30% of the state’s energy. The commercial sector accounts for about one-fourth of the state’s energy consumption, and the industrial sector accounts for more than one-tenth.

Rhode Island has taken actions to mitigate and adapt to climate change, often through executive orders issued by the Governor. In 2015, building on the Resilient Rhode Island Act (2014), which set targets for reducing greenhouse emissions to 45% below 1990 levels by 2035 and 80% below 1990 levels by 2050, Governor Gina Raimondo instructed state agencies to reduce energy use by 10% by 2019, committed the state to obtain 100% renewable energy by 2025, and required the State Fleet to purchase a minimum of 25% zero-emission vehicles by 2025. In the spring of 2017, she doubled down, announcing a new goal of 1,000 MW and 20,000 clean energy jobs by 2020. According to the 2020 Rhode Island Clean Energy Industry Report, the clean energy labor force of Rhode Island has grown by 77.3% since 2014.

In the fall of 2017, she took additional executive action calling for the development of the state’s first comprehensive climate preparedness strategy.

A year later in the summer of 2018, the resulting Resilient Rhody report was released outlining an actionable vision for addressing the impacts of climate change in Rhode Island. It focuses on critical infrastructure and utilities, natural systems, emergency preparedness, and community health and resilience.

Rhode Island is the first state to have placed a 100% renewable electricity target as early as 2030, following another executive order by Raimondo before leaving to join the Biden administration, in January, 2020. The closest is Washington, D.C., which is aiming for 2032.

Sitting in on a meeting with Barrington, R.I.’s  Resilience & Energy Committee  a few weeks after the IPCC’s report was released in August, 2021, as they explore solar solutions in Barrington demonstrates the concerns in the state. Some believe the two initiatives that guide residential solar in Rhode Island — the Renewable Energy Growth Program and net metering — need to be revamped to better address the needs and wants of residential solar customers.

Rhode Island is one of twenty-four states, along with Puerto Rico, committed to the U.S. Climate Alliance, which is working to implement policies that advance the goals of the Paris Agreement.

CURRENT NEWS

PLANS TO ACCELERATE RENEWABLES

Rhode Island governor signs ‘most aggressive renewable energy standard’ in US, targets 100% offsets by 2033

By Robert Walton Photo: Scott Eisen , Getty Images 06/30/22
Rhode Island Gov. Dan McKee, D, on Wednesday signed legislation requiring the state’s electricity use to be completely offset by renewables by 2033. According to the governor’s office, it is “the most aggressive renewable energy…

Rhode Island Ports to Undergo Offshore Wind Upgrades with USD 95 Million State Support

03/21/22
At the beginning of this year, State Governor Dan McKee announced that his FY2023 budget and American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA) spending plan would propose more than USD 150 million to fund a series of…

RI plans to buy more offshore wind power to help meet goal of 100% renewable energy

03/19/22
Gov. Dan McKee is moving ahead with a plan to ramp up Rhode Island’s supply of power from offshore wind farms that would be developed off the coast of Southern New England.

Bill would require RI to get all electricity from renewable sources by 2030

03/13/22
Experts say that when it comes to reaching net-zero greenhouse gas emissions by 2050, as required by a landmark climate change measure enacted into law last year, the conversion of Rhode Island’s electric system to…

Rhode Island PUC Approves Rate Increases to Fund Energy Programs

02/06/22
National Grid estimates residential electric customers who use an average of 500 kilowatt-hours a month will have an increase of 57 cents on their monthly bills allocated specifically for EEP. Gas customers using 702 therms…

Groups urge bigger targets, more equity as RGGI states consider changes

12/21/21
As the Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative, known as RGGI, undergoes a thorough review by participating states, environmental advocates are demanding more ambitious emission reduction targets and a mandate for equitable distribution of the revenues.

100 Percent Renewable Electricity by 2030

10/25/21
Reducing economy-wide greenhouse gas emissions across the state’s electric, heating, and transportation sectors is integral to climate change mitigation and achieving long-term greenhouse gas reduction targets consistent with the Resilient Rhode Island Act. By accelerating…

The Rhode Island Office of Energy Resources receives US Department of Energy funding for refrigeration energy management

09/15/21
The Rhode Island Office of Energy Resources (OER) today announced that it has received funding from the U.S. Department of Energy (US DOE) to help grocery stores strategically use energy in a way that reduces…

Barrington Climate Committee Focuses On Solar to Address Crisis

09/13/21
The town’s Resilience and Energy Committee forms an off-kilter circle on the edge of the parking lot around the back of Town Hall. Seven sit in folding chairs, one on a cargo mat dragged from…

Rhode Island Solar Development Needs to Change Its Focus to Rooftops and Already-Marred Areas

07/29/21
Dana Goodman sells and her company installs residential rooftop solar systems in both Rhode Island and Massachusetts. In the Bay State, she said it’s an easier and simpler process. She doesn’t know why Rhode Island…

Governor’s Veto of Renewable Energy Bill Viewed as Backing National Grid

07/19/21
Gov. Dan McKee issued the first veto of his administration to block a bill aimed at moving costs from renewable energy companies to National Grid, while also possibly affecting the siting of future transmission facilities.

Act: Relating To Health And Safety – Transportation Emissions And Mobile (Team) Community Act

05/07/21
There is scientific consensus that Earth's climate is now changing faster than at any point in the history of modern civilization, primarily as a result of greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions from human activities; climate change…

Rhode Island Governor Signs ‘Act On Climate’ Into Law

By Rachel Nunes 04/12/21
 Rhode Island Gov. Dan McKee signed the state's new, ambitious climate bill into law by the state's iconic coast this weekend.

McKee Signs Aggressive Climate Law – Filippi Says It Increases Costs for RI Businesses & Residents

By Go Localprov Team 04/10/21
On Saturday, Rhode Island Governor Dan McKee signed the 2021 Act on Climate -- legislation that updates the state's climate-emission reduction goals.  

Act: Relating To Public Utilities And Carriers-renewable Energy

03/17/21
Starting in compliance year 2007, all obligated entities shall obtain at least three percent (3%) of the electricity they sell at retail to Rhode Island end-use customers, adjusted for electric ine losses, from eligible renewable…

Act: Relating To State Affairs And Government — Environmental Justice

01/26/21
It is enacted by the General Assembly as follows: SECTION 1. Title 42 of the General Laws entitled "STATE AFFAIRS AND GOVERNMENT" is hereby amended by adding thereto the following chapter:

Preparing for Climate Change in Rhode Island

08/30/20
This page provides an overview of the steps Rhode Island is taking to prepare for the impacts of climate change.

Rhode Island Greenhouse Gas Emissions Reduction Plan

04/10/19
In accordance with the provisions of Rhode Island General Laws §42-6.2-2(2), I am pleased to provide you with the following “EC4 Greenhouse Gas Emissions Reduction Plan,” which includes strategies, programs, and actions to meet the…

State of Rhode Island : Governor’s Climate Priorities

04/10/19
Governor Raimondo's climate goals and actions.

KEY RESOURCES

Rhode Island Solar Panels: Pricing and Incentives

02/11/22
Rhode Island brings to mind images of warm, sunny days on the beaches of the Atlantic Ocean. And, with 200 to 210 days of sunshine each year, Rhode Island is an ideal state for those…

Rhode Island State Profile and Energy Estimates

10/19/21
Rhode Island's mainland wraps around Narragansett Bay with its many islands. Called the Ocean State, Rhode Island is one-third water and includes Block Island further offshore, as well as one of New England's deepwater ports…

Rhode Island v. Chevron Corp.

09/24/21
State of Rhode Island lawsuit seeking to hold fossil fuel companies liable for causing climate change impacts that adversely affect Rhode Island and jeopardize State-owned or -operated facilities, real property, and other assets.

Energy State Bill Tracking Database

09/10/21
The searchable Energy Storage Legislation Database displays information in interactive maps and charts, tracking state activity from 2017 to the present.

Environment and Natural Resources State Bill Tracking Database

09/01/21
The National Conference of State Legislatures tracks environment and natural resources bills that have been introduced in the 50 states, territories and Washington, D.C.

Climate Literacy

06/03/21
It is essential for all Rhode Islanders to have a general understanding of the influence climate and weather has on human society, and how human actions influence climate and weather patterns. It is also important…

New Report Calls for Building a Climate Resilient Providence

03/29/21
 The city’s vulnerabilities to climate change, including the risk from storm surge, sea-level rise, and more frequent and intense rains, are urgent and will increase in the next decade to unmanageable levels, according to a…

The First National Flood Risk Assessment

10/06/20
The First Street Foundation Flood Model represents the culmination of decades of research and development made possible by building upon existing knowledge and frameworks regularly referenced in the identification of flood risk.

The Impacts of Climate Change and the Trump Administration’s Anti-Environmental Agenda in Rhode Island

09/19/20
Between 2017 and 2019, Rhode Island experienced two severe winter storms. The damages of these events led to losses of at least $1 billion.

State-by-State: Climate Change in Rhode Island

08/06/20
Rhode Island is vulnerable to increasing temperatures, floods and droughts, and coastal flooding

Local Efforts to Address Climate Crisis Make Difference

01/20/20
During a weeklong bonus session of the General Assembly in September 2017, both the House and Senate approved bills that require Rhode Island municipal planning board members to undergo training related to the impacts of…

Climate Action RI • 350 RI

06/07/19
Climate Action RI is an action group focused specifically on the issue of climate change and what can be done on national, local, and individual levels. We are based in Rhode Island and are a…

Rhode Island’s Changing Climate: Building Resilience Through Local Solutions

04/10/19
The aim is to inform Rhode Island residents of the mechanism of climate change and localize the issue by showcasing Rhode Island impacts, as well as positive adaptation efforts happening in the state. Through sharing…

MORE NEWS

Government Return of Environmental Bills Held for Further Study Planned for New General Assembly Session

By Rob Smith   01/03/22  
Rhode Island legislators return to the General Assembly chambers this week, and environmental advocates are hoping to pass an ambitious agenda. The Legislature is expected to consider a number of environment and climate-related bills that…

Government R.I. has No Plan to Reduce Transportation Emissions

By Rob Smith  Photo: Joanna Detz , Ecori News   01/01/22  
Rhode Island lawmakers are going into the new legislative session with no clear plan to reduce transportation-sector emissions, after neighboring states pulled out of the regional Transportation & Climate Initiative (TCI) late last year.

Inside Clean Energy: Here Are 5 States that Took Leaps on Clean Energy Policy in 2021

By Dan Gearino  Photo: Scott Olson , Getty Images   12/23/21  
It’s understandable if people are feeling dour during this unseasonably warm December when, once again, the U.S. Congress has failed to pass major climate legislation.

Groups urge bigger targets, more equity as RGGI states consider changes

By Lisa Prevost   12/21/21  
As the Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative, known as RGGI, undergoes a thorough review by participating states, environmental advocates are demanding more ambitious emission reduction targets and a mandate for equitable distribution of the revenues.

Rhode Island Clean Marina Program

10/04/21  
Watch Hill Boat Yard, Newport Yacht Club, and Safe Harbor Wickford Cove were designated as Clean Marinas under Rhode Island’s Clean Marina Program, adopted by the Rhode Island Coastal Resources Management Council (CRMC) in 2007,…
AP

Grant helps URI, Penn State researchers study sea-level rise

10/03/21  
Researchers at the University of Rhode Island and their colleagues at Penn State have been awarded a four-year, $1.5 million grant to study the effects of sea level rise and how it may worsen the…

Climate activists say Rhode Island is “already behind” on emissions reduction planning

By Sofie Rudin   09/30/21  
Rhode Island passed landmark climate legislation last spring, mandating that the state cut emissions to net zero by 2050. Six months later, environmental activists say the state has done little to begin implementing the law.

For Many On Coast, Climate Crisis Means Rising Insurance Rates

By Caitlin Faulds  Photo: Frank Carini/ecoRI News   09/27/21  
The country’s largest flood insurer is changing how it analyzes risk, and it could signal a reckoning for coastal communities.

Taming the torrent won’t be cheap: Climate projects in Providence need federal money

By Alex Kuffner  Photo: David Delpoio   09/17/21  
A network of streams and ponds once cut through the East Side of Providence. When rain fell, runoff followed the topography down through a watershed that encompassed the area around what is now Blackstone Boulevard.

Climate Action Rhode Island takes on Thayer Street to protest JPMorgan Chase’s funding of fossil fuels

By Jasper Yeh  Photo: Jasper Yeh   09/15/21  
Members of Climate Action Rhode Island marched on Thayer Street Wednesday protesting JPMorgan Chase’s funding of fossil fuel companies. The group carried large signs reading “Chase funds death” and “Stop Chase the toxic bank” as…

Town turns to Rhode Island company in bid to replace wind turbine

By John P. Muldoon  Photo: KelleyJane Kloub   09/14/21  
The select board is considering a proposal from a Rhode Island company that could help the town out of a stuck situation. Based in Cranston, R.I., Green Development said it will take down the broken…

Brown climate researcher warns of rising seas, flooding in R.I.

By Edward Fitzpatrick  Photo: Carlos Muñoz   09/09/21  
As the Ocean State, with nearly 400 miles of coastline, Rhode Island will face not only rising sea levels but also more frequent flooding in the years ahead, a Brown University climate researcher said on…

DEM offering 1,000 free trees to Rhode Island residents

By Tim Studebaker   09/09/21  
For the 7th year in a row, the Rhode Island DEM is back with a program aimed at helping homeowners beautify their property, reduce their energy costs, and help absorb carbon dioxide from the atmosphere,…

‘We Were Warned:’ Rhode Island and Sixth IPCC Climate Report

By Caitlin Faulds  Photo: Frank Carini/ecoRI News   09/02/21  
“It is getting increasingly dire,” Sen. Sheldon Whitehouse, D-R.I. said in an Aug. 9 speech on the Senate floor about climate action, hours after the release of the U.N.’s Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change’s (IPCC)…

Rhode Island’s Warming Marine Waters Force Iconic Species Out, Disrupt Catch Limits and Change Ecosystem Services

By Frank Carini  Photo: Frank Carini/ecoRI News   08/02/21  
For generations, winter flounder was one of the most important fish in Rhode Island waters. Longtime recreational fisherman Rich Hittinger recalled taking his kids fishing in the 1980s, dropping anchor, letting their lines sink to…

Act On Climate: Legislators and Activists Offer Thoughts On Where R.I. Goes After Passing Highly Touted Climate Law

By Brian P. D. Hannon  Photo: Frank Carini/ecoRI News   07/26/21  
Sue AnderBois compares Rhode Island’s Act on Climate legislation to an annual New Year’s resolution to get healthier, but with the addition of a realistic path to achieving the lofty goal rather than a vague…

Winds of Change

By Joseph Healy   06/24/21  
Almost 20 years ago, the construction of offshore wind farms seemed imminent off New England. Energy entrepreneurs were proselytizing about the lower electric rates and sustainable advantages of wind power, which was growing exponentially in…

$500M wind turbine installation ship will make two stops before coming home to port in Hampton Roads

By Elizabeth Moore  Photo: Elizabeth Moore   06/23/21  
Since last fall, two wind turbines off the coast of Virginia Beach have been supplying clean energy to about 3,000 homes that are customers of Dominion Energy. Plans to install up to 180 turbines by…

Senate Passes Environmental-Justice Zones and Transportation Emissions Bills to the House

By Brian P.D. Hannon   06/23/21  
 The Senate approved two pieces of environmental legislation in a single session with passage of bills to establish environmental protections for vulnerable neighborhoods and to reduce transportation-sector emissions.

Attorney General Intervenes in Proposed Fossil-Fuel Plan That Concerns Port of Providence Neighbors

By Ecori News Staff  Photo: Caitlin Faulds , ecoRI News   06/16/21  
 Attorney General Peter Neronha has filed a motion to intervene in the Sea 3 Providence LLC project before the Energy Facility Siting Board. His office is concerned the project, which involves a proposed expansion of…

Massive Greenhouse Proposal Pits Need for Local Food Production Against Town’s Rural Character

By Brian P. D. Hannon   06/14/21  
A huge greenhouse project producing local food using advanced growing techniques and renewable energy seems on the surface to be an unassailable win for Rhode Island, but the planned launch raises concerns in the small…

Salt Water Intrudes On Household Wells and Septic Systems

By Frank Carini  Photo: Frank Carini , ecoRI News   06/14/21  
One of the least-addressed issues related to Rhode Island’s coastal challenges is the impact climate change is having and will have on private residential drinking-water and wastewater infrastructure.

Stormwater Runoff Takes Bite Out of R.I.’s Vulnerable Coastline

By Frank Carini  Photo: Frank Carini / ecoRI News   06/14/21  
The above video is just one example among countless others statewide of stormwater runoff gushing after a rainstorm. This scene at innumerable locations plays out every time it rains in Rhode Island, which, in this…

South Fork Wind Gets Rhode Island Okay

By Christopher Walsh   06/10/21  
The Rhode Island Coastal Resources Management Council formally concluded on June 2 that plans for the South Fork Wind farm, including its 12 turbines and a $12 million fisheries compensation package, are consistent with the…

Rhode Island’s DEM Director Stepping Down After A Decade

By Rachel Nunes  Photo: Rachel Nunes , Patch   06/09/21  
 After a decade spent at the helm, Rhode Island's Department of Environmental Management director will step down later this month. Director Janet Coit has led the department since 2011.

Narragansett’s Vital Beach Life Feels Push of Climate Change

By Grace Kelly  Photo: Grace Kelly , Ecori News   06/07/21  
 The water breached the seawall. Foaming waves sloshed over the concrete strip, a place where, on a nice day, people sit and watch the sunset or shoot the breeze about local happenings.

Electricity Bill with 100% Renewable-Sourcing Goal by 2030 Passes Senate

By Brian P.D. Hannon  Photo: Brian P.D. Hannon , EcorRI News   06/03/21  
 The Senate recently took another step toward fulfilling a growing list of climate-action goals by passing a bill requiring all of Rhode Island’s electricity to originate from renewable energy sources by 2030.

Rhode Island Senate Ponders Connecticut During Transportation Climate Initiative Debate

By Hugh McQuaid  Photo: Lana Elcova , Shutterstock   05/25/21  
Connecticut’s rebuff of the Transportation and Climate Initiative was the subject of debate this week in Rhode Island, where state senators voted to move forward with the regional pact despite reluctance from their next door…

Electric grid sale presents rare opportunity for Rhode Island, clean energy advocates say

By Lisa Prevost  Photo: Pok Rie , Creative Commons   05/25/21  
As the sale of Rhode Island’s largest electric distributor comes before state regulators for approval, a group of solar developers, policy specialists and energy consultants are calling on the governor and attorney general to seize…

South County Confronts Long-Standing Coastal Challenges

By Annie Sherman   05/10/21  
As increasingly frequent and intense storms batter the Ocean State’s weary coast, the consequences, such as eroding beaches, flooded homes, compromised public streets and threatened infrastructure, become more common. While efforts to mitigate these impacts…

South Kingstown has Long History with Encroaching Waters

By Frank Carini   05/10/21  
Jim Bedell, a retired high school geology and physics teacher, has spent much of the past two decades advocating for public access to the shore and studying the coastal impacts of the climate crisis.

Legislation targets waste-to-energy proposals in Rhode Island

By Alex Kuffner   04/08/21  
 Every few years, a company comes along with a new proposal to use some type of high-heat process to turn garbage into energy in Rhode Island.

Rhode Islanders want climate action with accountability

04/07/21  
During the Trump administration, the U.S. pulled out of the international climate agreement, EPA scientists were gagged from even speaking about climate change, and the Department of the Interior proposed drilling for oil off the…

RIPTA to tap renewable solar energy with new collaboration

By Rhode Island Public Transit Authority   04/01/21  
The Rhode Island Public Transit Authority (RIPTA) estimates it will save a quarter of a million dollars in electricity costs annually through a remote net energy agreement with Kearsarge Energy.

April means lower electric bills for most in Rhode Island

By Alex Kuffner   03/31/21  
 Most Rhode Islanders will start seeing lower electric bills following the approval of new rates for National Grid that are set to go into effect Thursday.

Offshore Wind Promises New England Energy Changes

By Grace Kelly  Photo: Joshua Bauer , US Department of Energy   03/24/21  
The winds and airs currents swirling around the oceans of this blue marble have the potential to power our cities and towns. And locally in coastal New England, the race to harness the power of…

Solar Development, Forest Protection Need Better Balance

By Grace Kelly  Photo: Frank Carini , Ecori.org   03/24/21  
The siting of renewable energy is a complex issue that dances around property rights, tax revenues, the carrying capacity of energy infrastructure, smart grids, energy storage, and environmental protections.

Offshore Wind Promises New England Energy Changes

By Grace Kelly   03/24/21  
The winds and airs currents swirling around the oceans of this blue marble have the potential to power our cities and towns. And locally in coastal New England, the race to harness the power of…

Solar projects advance Rhode Island’s renewable energy resources

By Smartcities World News Team   03/23/21  
Clean tech integrator Ameresco has achieved commercial operation at its site in Tiverton and mechanical completion at its location in Cumberland in the New England state.

Representative Ruggiero sponsors bill for 100 percent renewable electricity by 2030

By What's Up Crew   03/19/21  
Rep. Deborah Ruggiero (D-Dist. 74, Jamestown, Middletown) is sponsoring legislation to require that 100 percent of Rhode Island’s electricity sold at retail comes from renewable sources by 2030.

RI To Reach All-Renewable Electricity By 2030 Under Proposed Law

By Rachel Nunes   03/17/21  
 A new bill from Rhode Island's Senate president would speed up the state's transition to renewable sources of electricity. The bill announcement comes just one day after the Senate voted in favor of a bill…

R.I. Bills Address Solar Panel Recycling, Plastic Bag Ban

By Tim Faulknner   03/15/21  
 Key environmental bills are being debated but their fate is unclear as legislative activity increases in the General Assembly and a new governor settles in.

Senator “It’s Time to Wake Up” Whitehouse drops his climate change mic

By Dan Drollette Jr   03/03/21  
A few weeks ago, Rhode Island Sen. Sheldon Whitehouse (D-R.I.) literally dropped the mic, after a nearly eight-year streak of weekly speeches in which he called for action on climate change. Whitehouse explained that with…

Labor and Environment Unite to Build Green Economy

By Frank Carini   01/30/21  
The conversations, and there were many, began the day after the Nov. 3 election. It then took three months for an array of Rhode Island groups, representing organized labor, environmental organizations, and the social-justice movement,…

Senate Climate Hawk Ends 9-Year Run Of Speeches, Citing Hopes Under Biden

By Igor Bobic   01/27/21  
Few senators have been as vocal about the issue of climate change as Sheldon Whitehouse of Rhode Island.  The three-term progressive Democrat has given a speech from the Senate floor almost every week the chamber…

How climate change is impacting bird populations in Newport County

By Todd McLeish  Photo by Caitlyn Rubino   01/08/21  
At the Sweet Flag Preserve adjacent to Bailey’s Brook in Middletown, Jameson Chace and his students at Salve Regina University spend two days a week each autumn capturing and banding birds as they fly through…

States & Cities Are Driving Climate & Clean Energy Progress

By Kit Kennedy  Photo by DOE   01/06/21  
It was the year that never seemed to end. The 2020 blows kept coming as the inter-related crises of the COVID-19 pandemic, racial brutality, climate upheaval, and economic recession inflicted hardship and loss on so many. With millions…

Climate Justice And Composting Among Providence’s Environmental Initiatives For 2021

By Tim Faulkner  Photo by Frank Carini   01/04/21  
 The Office of Sustainability and the Environmental Sustainability Task Force (ESTF) are launching major environmental initiatives for the new year.

Rhode Island Senator Pushes Coastal Coalition With Georgia On Climate Change

By Emily Jones  Photo by Paulita Bennett-Martin   12/31/20  
A senator from Rhode Island has been spending time in Georgia, advocating for coastal states to work together to address climate change.

First meeting of the Senate Energy Transmission Commission – Full video

By Steve Ahlquist   12/29/20  
The first meeting of the Special Legislative Commission to Study and Evaluate Rhode Island’s Electric and Natural Gas Transmission and Distribution System Infrastructure (Commission) met on December 21. UpriseRI wrote about the Commission ahead of this meeting here, and Tim Faulkner at EcoRI wrote…