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Energize Rhode Island Moves the State toward Carbon Pricing

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The newly formed Energize Rhode Island coalition is working to put Rhode Island among the first states to legislate carbon pricing as a market-based solution for reducing carbon pollution. “There is overwhelming evidence that carbon pricing is the most economically sound tool we can use to reduce our dependence on fossil fuels,” says EC Providence Director Brigid Ryan.

Energize Rhode Island is a coalition initiative among associations, businesses and organizations – including EC Providence, the Sierra Club, Rhode Island Interfaith Power and Light, RI Green and Healthy Homes Initiative, Filarski Architects and People’s Power and Light – that have joined together to educate Rhode Islanders about the benefits and importance of carbon pricing. The coalition supports and promotes legislative solutions that put a price on fossil fuels to account for the carbon pollution they create. The state would then reinvest the revenue in the state’s economy to create jobs. Brown University is providing strong support for the coalition through research and education.

The Energize Rhode Island coalition consists of a leadership team, endorsers and members and volunteers. Emerald Cities Providence has joined the leadership team, with Local Director Brigid Ryan named as the coalition’s co-chair.

Rhode Island is also poised to become home to the first offshore wind farm in the United States – “no surprise from a small state with big achievements in energy efficiency and renewable energy policy,” Ryan noted. This past July, the Block Island Wind Farm put “steel in the water” for installation of five foundations that will comprise a 30-megawatt wind farm; and the American Council for an Energy Efficient Economy now ranks Rhode Island 3rd in the nation on its annual Energy Efficiency Scorecard.

EC Providence engages in policy work that directly supports its mission of reducing the environmental impacts of energy use while creating greater economic opportunities and greater equity for local residents. Given this context, EC Providence’s participation in Energize Rhode Island is focused on policies that invest in statewide energy efficiency programs while mitigating negative impacts on low-income families and vulnerable populations.

“Emerald Cities is dedicated to working with our environmental and business partners in Rhode Island to reduce our state’s contribution to the global crisis of carbon pollution,” said Ryan. “We also work to ensure that our communities are cleaner and healthier, all while growing our economy to the benefit of our low-income and minority communities.”

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