The Rhode Island Sierra Club strongly praises the bold climate leadership of the nine Providence legislators who publicly expressed their opposition to National Grid’s proposal for a $180 million fracked gas liquefaction facility at Fields Point in the Port of Providence.
Last week, Providence State Representatives Aaron Regunberg, Joe Almeida, Grace Diaz, John Lombardi, Chris Blazejewski and Edie Ajello, along with Providence State Senators Juan Pichardo, Gayle Goldin and Harold Metts submitted a letter to the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) describing their deep concerns with National Grid’s proposal. We wholeheartedly agree with their statement that this project represents a boondoggle for ratepayers, an unjustifiable safety risk for the local community, and the kind of unacceptable doubling down on fossil fuel infrastructure that will guarantee we blow past our legally mandated emission reduction goals. And we are proud to see so many legislative leaders refusing to condemn our beautiful state to a future of climate catastrophe.
Unfortunately, the same can not be said of Providence Mayor Jorge Elorza. Rather than making any effort to live up to his rhetoric on climate change, Mayor Elorza has chosen to partner with National Grid and help them advance their proposal with tacit support and active negotiations for a Tax Stabilization Agreement to smooth out the utility’s tax payments over time.
Stopping climate change is the moral crisis of our time – and it will only be possible if we end these vast investments in new fossil fuel infrastructure that guarantee our addiction to fossil fuels continues past our planet’s point of no return. We all need to join in this fight. Rhode Island Sierra Club pledges our support for elected officials who take this moral imperative seriously, like the nine Providence legislators who came out in opposition to the LNG proposal last week. And we condemn in the strongest possible terms the cowardice of self-proclaimed climate leaders who choose to give in to the fossil fuel industry. Mayor Elorza, your actions speak much louder than your words – please, do the right thing and join your legislative delegation in standing up for Providence’s current and future citizens.