Report on Aquidneck Island Gas Disaster Released

State issues findings from January outage

a row of gas meters on the side of a building

Gas meters. Photo: Justin Henry via CC2.0

October 30, 2019 (PROVIDENCE, RI) – Conservation Law Foundation (CLF) released the following statement today in response to the Rhode Island Public Utilities Commission report on January’s gas emergency on Aquidneck Island.

“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.”

The report placed National Grid and Algonquin Gas Transmission at fault for the disaster, which caused outages and harm to homes and businesses on Aquidneck Island during an especially cold period of winter. The report also recommends reducing gas demand on the island by compensating customers for reducing use at critical times, but this does not go far enough. Only by switching to alternatives like heat pumps can we protect both our communities and our environment.

The report also recommends investing in gas infrastructure, but this is not a healthy long-term solution. Investments in gas are inconsistent with Rhode Island’s goal to reduce climate-damaging emissions, and this money would be much better spent on clean alternatives to gas.

You can read the full report here.

CLF experts are available for further comment.