This week the Senate and House are voting on the Climate Bill, H5445/S0078, which requires Rhode Islanders to reduce the amount of greenhouse gases they produce. The bill legally requires dramatic reductions in the amount of greenhouse gases Rhode Island produces starting in 2030. If for any reason, Rhode Island could not achieve these reductions, anyone could file a law suit to force the reductions. Regulations could be imposed limiting what you can buy or making you pay more if you use fossil fuels. This bill could force most people to switch from heating their homes with oil to electricity by 2030 and to switch from heating their homes with natural gas to electricity by 2040. Recently Governor Dan McKee criticized this Climate Bill because it would “likely to lead to expensive, protracted, and vexatious litigation against the State of Rhode Island.”

The R.I. Republican Party has the following comments:

“If this bill becomes law, Rhode Island would have one of the most stringent and expensive climate laws in the country. Only a handful of states have a legal requirement to get greenhouse gases down to net zero by 2050. With the exception of Massachusetts, no other New England state requires greenhouse gas emissions to go to net zero. Even California, which experienced rolling black outs in part due to their climate change polices, only requires a 40 percent reduction in greenhouse gases by 2030. Last year, Vermont Governor Phil Scott vetoed a climate bill because it “could lead to costly litigation” and because of “the absence of a process ensuring the Legislature would formally vote on the Vermont Climate Action Plan promulgated by an unelected, unaccountable Council.” Although Scott’s veto came just three votes short of being sustained, six weeks later, Scott went on to win re-election with 68.5 percent of the vote. Republicans and some Democrats here in Rhode Island are making some of the same arguments that Governor Scott did in Vermont.

If you don’t want to be forced someday to install a new expensive electric heating system, costing $20,000 or more, call Governor McKee and tell him to veto this legislation. His number is 222-2080. Keep the heat on McKee or someday you may not be able to afford to heat your home.

If Governor McKee vetoes this bill, we will push to get his veto sustained. It will be a fight against House Speaker Joe Shekarchi. Shekarchi will be fighting for his solar developer clients. We’ll be fighting for to keep Rhode Island an affordable place to live.”

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