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Open Letter to Chairwoman Sosnowski and Members of the Environment Committee
by Jerry Elmer

May 23, 2013 Dear Chairwoman Sosnowski and members of the Environment Committee: This e-mail follows yesterday evening’s hearing on S-901, the Governor’s Energy Reform Act of 2013, with its provision for purchasing large quantities of Canadian hydropower; and S-938, Chairwoman Sosnowski’s proposal for extending and enlarging Rhode Island’s landmark Distributed Generation Standard Contracts program. For…

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Fighting Bad Bills in Rhode Island
by Max Greene

My colleagues in CLF’s Rhode Island office have been doing some important work that deserves attention this legislative session. Two of their efforts stand out: opposing the governor’s attempt to create special legislation to import power from Hydro-Quebec, and opposing the Rhode Island House leadership’s attempt to create a state Commerce Department that would take…

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Could Backyard Chickens Be an Answer to Food Insecurity in Woonsocket?
by Max Greene

Two weeks ago, I wrote about bringing backyard chickens back to Rhode Island and paid special attention to the ongoing effort to repeal Woonsocket’s chicken ban. A few days later, the Washington Post ran a feature-length article on low-income Woonsocket residents’ struggles to feed their families. My last post focused on the ways that historical…

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Up in Smoke: Incinerating Waste in RI a Threat to Economy, Environment
by Jerry Elmer

On Wednesday, March 20, 2013, I testified at the Rhode Island General Assembly, at a hearing of the Environment Committee, against Bill S-728, which would remove a long-standing statutory ban on the Rhode Island Resource Recovery Corporation (RIRRC) putting incineration into its long-range plan. At the hearing, a staff person from RIRRC testified that there…

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Let’s Bring Backyard Chickens Back to Rhode Island
by Max Greene

All over Rhode Island, people want to keep backyard chickens. The trouble is that the law often doesn’t let them. Until 2010, Providence banned chicken-keeping entirely. That year, a coalition of residents worked together to overturn the ban. These efforts paid off – now, chickens peck away happily at sites ranging from Southside Community Land…

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The Rhode Island Local Food Forum: Getting Food Policy Right in RI
by Max Greene

Last week I attended the Ninth Annual Rhode Island Local Food Forum, organized by Farm Fresh Rhode Island. The forum’s theme was “Center of the Plate,” reflecting its focus on local protein production. Particularly enlightening was a panel discussion whose moderator, academic chef Bill Idell, posed questions that resonate across the region.  These questions ultimately…

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Going Above and Beyond: Deepwater Wind Adjusts Offshore Wind Construction Schedule to Protect Right Whales
by Maggie Williams

Deepwater Wind is taking exciting new steps to build on last month’s historic agreement to protect critically endangered right whales while developing offshore wind projects. The offshore wind developer, expected to begin construction on the proposed Block Island Wind Farm in 2014 or 2015, has announced an agreement to voluntarily adjust its planned construction period…