Letter to Governor Chafee

Stakeholders urge RGGI improvements

One hundred days after Superstorm Sandy, clean energy businesses and organizations in Rhode Island submitted a letter to Governor Chafee urging improvements to the Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative (RGGI), the Northeast region’s cap on power plant emissions. The letter called for a strengthened emissions cap, strict clean energy standards, and loophole prevention. 



February 6, 2013 

Dear Governor Chafee,

We are writing to thank you for being a leader in the effort to shift to clean energy and tackle the emissions that contribute to global warming. We ask that you work to ensure that Rhode Island and the Northeast maintain progress in efforts to shift to clean energy and reduce fossil fuel pollution.

The increased incidence of extreme weather, the hottest year on record, and the wakeup call we received from Superstorm Sandy all remind us of the urgent need to reduce the pollution that contributes to climate change.

The Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative (RGGI), the Northeast region’s cap on power plant emissions, is a critical part of the state and regional strategy to reduce carbon pollution. While stimulating investments in energy efficiency and clean energy, it helps save money and boost the local economy. Rhode Island’s energy and environmental agencies are working with officials from across the Northeast to consider revisions to the program as part of a three-year review. We urge you to build on your record of leadership to ensure that the program gets updated and improved in the following ways:

  1. Establish an effective cap that ensures emissions reductions 20% below current levels by 2020, and which puts us on track to reduce emissions by at least 80% by 2050.
  2. Ensure that the revenues from the RGGI programs are invested in energy efficiency and renewable energy programs that will save energy, lower costs, create local jobs and reduce pollution.
  3. Prevent loopholes that will undermine the effectiveness of the program in achieving its emission reduction targets.

We hope that you take these improvements into account.



Chris Benzack
Managing Partner
Newport Biodiesel, LLC

Michael Cabral
Newport Renewables

Michael Cahill, P.E.
Vice President
BCx Energy

Tony Cervone
Green Energies, LLC

Vito Buonomano
Northeast Solar & Wind Power, LLC

Terry Regan
Regan Heating & Air Condition, Inc.

Doug Sabetti
Newport Solar

Mike Zimmerman
Allied Consulting Engineering Services, Inc.

Abel Collins
Program Manager
Rhode Island Sierra Club

Jamie Rhodes
Rhode Island Director
Clean Water Action

Larry Chretien
Executive Director
People’s Power & Light

Tricia Jedele
Vice President and Director CLF-RI
Conservation Law Foundation

Channing Jones
Program Associate
Environment Rhode Island