The Senate and the House of Representatives recently voted for legislation to address climate change by requiring Rhode Islanders to reduce the amount of greenhouse gases they put into the atmosphere. The bill requires that the amount of greenhouse gases Rhode Island produces be reduced by 45 percent by 2030, by 80 percent by 2040 and reach net zero by 2050. The Executive Climate Change Coordinating Council (EC4), which is composed of primarily gubernatorial appointees, would come up with plans to achieve these reductions. Any state agency could be required by EC4 to adopt regulations to implement its plans. These plans would not require the approval of the General Assembly. If for any reason, Rhode Island could not achieve these reductions, anyone could file a law suit to force the reductions.
The R.I. Republican Party has the following comments:
“We would like to commend the Republicans and the 13 House Democrats, who voted against this legislation. House Speaker Shekarchi represents solar developers and House Majority Leader Blazejewski represents the elite East Side of Providence. Hardworking Rhode Islanders however, will get stuck paying higher energy bills.
Not only does this bill aim to force us to change how we live, but also how our government works. Instead of our elected representatives passing laws and being held accountable for their votes, these legislative cowards want bureaucrats to make the decisions so they can blame them when things go wrong. Things will go wrong. Government can mandate many things, but it can't mandate technological innovation. Technological innovations must be cost-effective to be useful. Before we legally obligate ourselves to do something, shouldn't we actually be sure that we can afford to do it. Rather than reaching for the stars, we may end leaping over a cliff. Look before you leap.”