Just as families in Newport County prepared for a brutal winter night in late January, National Grid cut gas service to more than 7,000 customers, leaving homes and businesses in the cold. They called it a precaution and couldn’t say how it would last. Ultimately, the outage lasted a full week.
“As we said in June, this is a huge victory for Rhode Island and for the health of our communities,” said CLF Senior Attorney Jerry Elmer. “In the face of climate emergency, opening a fossil fuel plant that will spew carbon pollution for decades is simply reckless. After years of lies and misinformation, Invenergy’s efforts to pave over a forest to build this dirty plant have been dealt a substantial loss. This is proof that communities can stand up to big gas and win.”
“Customers should absolutely not be straddled with higher bills because of the mistakes of utilities,” said Amy Moses, Vice President and Director of CLF Rhode Island. “But the report’s suggestion of reducing demand for gas simply doesn’t go far enough. We need to get off dirty fracked gas and focus on clean renewables, not expand infrastructure that only harms our air and destroys our climate.”
With action to stem plastic pollution stalled at the state level, communities across the Ocean State continue to pick up the slack and take on this important work.
“The Shell terminal in Providence is poised for disaster,” said Chris Kilian, Vice President of Strategic Litigation at CLF. “It will take only one significant storm to inundate this facility and release toxic chemicals into surrounding waters and neighborhoods. Shell has failed to protect this terminal from the well-known impacts of climate change, and we will continue our fight to protect the community.”
Late last month, Invenergy – the Chicago-based energy company that’s been trying to build a fossil fuel power plant in the forests of Burrillville, Rhode Island since 2015 – was denied a key permit it needs to start construction. This was a victory for CLF, for the people of Burrillville, and for everyone in New England.
“This is a huge victory for Rhode Island and for the health of our communities,” said CLF Senior Attorney Jerry Elmer. “In the face of climate emergency, opening a fossil fuel plant that will spew carbon pollution for decades is simply reckless. After years of lies and misinformation, Invenergy’s efforts to pave over a forest to build this dirty plant have been dealt a substantial loss. Today’s decision is proof that communities can stand up to big gas and win.”
“With the EPA’s national PFAS plan falling far short, it’s up to the states to protect us from these toxic chemicals,” said Amy Moses, Vice President and Director of CLF Rhode Island. “The dangerous health effects of these substances have been known for years, and other New England states have committed to solving the problem. Rhode Island needs to protect public health and that starts with ensuring everyone has safe drinking water.”
“No one should be given a free pass to pollute Rhode Island waters,” said James Crowley, Staff Attorney at CLF. “Years of toxic runoff have endangered our waters, closed our beaches, and threatened important wildlife habitats. Our communities deserve to enjoy these areas without being sickened by toxic pollution that has gone unchecked for decades. The state has the power to hold these polluters accountable and it must act now to protect our waters for future generations.”
“How much more proof do we need that this plant is unnecessary?” said Jerry Elmer, Senior Attorney at CLF. “Invenergy’s fracked gas and fossil fuel plant would generate dangerous greenhouse gas emissions at a time when Rhode Island should be focusing on clean, renewable energy. Today’s decision makes it clear: Invenergy needs to admit defeat and stop forcing this unwanted plant on Rhode Islanders.”