Providence passes resolutions to oppose Invenergy power plant and investigate water sale

2017-02-02 PVD City Council 01The Providence City Council passed Seth Yurdin‘s resolution in opposition to Invenergy‘s planned $1 billion power plant, proposed for the Town of Burrillville, last night with no nay votes, three absences and two abstentions. The resolution also expresses concern over the use of Providence Water to cool the plant’s turbines, water Invenergy is purchasing from the Town of Johnston, which gets its water wholesale from Providence.

This makes Providence the 24th city of town to pass such a resolution in Rhode Island. In addition the plant is opposed by every environmental group, one land trust, a few conservation commissions, many tourist councils, 24 cities and towns and 100,000s of citizens in state and throughout the region.

Providence’s resolution also concerns the water. A surprise water deal was struck between Johnston and Invenergy in early January. Invenergy exploited a legal loophole to effectuate the deal: Though the Providence Water, as a regulated utility is barred from profiting selling water, Johnston’s water district is unregulated, and has such no restrictions. Furthermore, though Johnston has no contract with Providence to purchase water, state law mandates that Providence supply the town.

As a result, two other resolutions passed the City Council last night. Councilor Samuel Zurier‘s resolution concerning the purchase and resale of Providence Water by municipal water supplies and Councilor Jo-Ann Ryan‘s resolution requesting a report on the regulatory structure of Providence Water urging the General Assembly to enact legislation restricting the resale of publicly provided potable water by municipalities.

All the resolutions can be accessed here.

2017-02-02 PVD City Council 02

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Steve Ahlquist is an award-winning journalist, writer, artist and founding member of the Humanists of Rhode Island, a non-profit group dedicated to reason, compassion, optimism, courage and action. The views expressed are his own and not necessarily those of any organization of which he is a member.

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"We must take sides. Neutrality helps the oppressor, never the victim. Silence encourages the tormentor, never the tormented.” - Elie Weisel

“If you are neutral in situations of injustice, you have chosen the side of the oppressor." - Desmond Tutu

"There comes a time when neutrality and laying low become dishonorable. If you’re not in revolt, you’re in cahoots. When this period and your name are mentioned, decades hence, your grandkids will look away in shame." - David Brooks

2 responses to “Providence passes resolutions to oppose Invenergy power plant and investigate water sale”

  1. salgal

    Righteous.

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  2. Providence will not take sides in CLF lawsuit against Johnston/Invenergy over water sale

    […] Providence City Council passed a resolution in opposition to the proposed power plant in February. In July, acting City Council President Sabina Matos (Ward […]

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