Energy + Environment

Households struggle as legislation for utility rate relief stalls

BY: - March 20, 2023

A $54 energy bill rebate might not seem like much. But for Erika Gonzalez, every little bit helps. Especially this year, with record rate hikes tripling electricity costs for her Pawtucket condo, from $60 to $180, just as her husband got laid off from his warehouse job. Left with her $17,000 take-home pay as a […]

No competition: State bid for more offshore wind gets one response

BY: - March 17, 2023

It was supposed to be a competitive bidding process when the state announced last October it wanted to bring more offshore wind to Rhode Island. But only one development team responded. The 884-megawatt farm proposed by Orsted A/S and Eversource Energy submitted the lone proposal to Rhode Island Energy,  the state’s primary utility operator announced […]

Sobering housing report outlines challenges for R.I. renters with extremely low incomes

BY: - March 17, 2023

About 60% of Rhode Island renters are severely cost-burdened, spending over half their income on housing, according to a report released Thursday by the National Low Income Housing Coalition. “The Gap: A Shortage of Affordable Homes” found that a housing supply shortage was the main contributor to the state’s crisis, with only 27,547 homes available […]

Pentagon to halt use of firefighting foam that contains PFAS as cleanup costs mount

BY: and - March 17, 2023

WASHINGTON — Battered by years of criticism from U.S. lawmakers and environmental advocates, the Department of Defense will stop purchasing PFAS-containing firefighting foam later this year and phase it out entirely in 2024.  The replacement for Aqueous Film Forming Foam has yet to be determined, and advocates are frustrated it’s taken so long to halt […]

$3.7M in federal home-heating funding coming to Ocean State

BY: - March 16, 2023

Rhode Island is getting an extra $3.7 million to help low-income residents keep the heat on at home, U.S. Sen. Jack Reed announced Thursday.

NOAA to open $150M marine research base in Newport

BY: - March 16, 2023

A federal marine operations and research base is shipping off to Aquidneck Island. U.S. Sen. Jack Reed on Wednesday announced that the government was finalizing plans to relocate the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration’s (NOAA) Marine Operations Center from Norfolk, Virginia, to Newport Naval Station. The $150 million project will bring about 200 jobs to […]

AG, DEM file lawsuit to stop sewage discharge into Blackstone River

BY: - March 16, 2023

Three strikes, you’re out. After leaking partially untreated sewage into the Blackstone River at least three times in the last year, the owners and operators of the Woonsocket Wastewater Treatment Facility are being sued. Rhode Island Attorney General Peter Neronha and Rhode Island Department of Environmental Management Director Terrence Gray Wednesday announced the dual agency […]

Orsted A/S and Eversource Energy submit joint wind farm proposal

BY: - March 16, 2023

Familiar names in Rhode Island offshore wind are vying for a contract to bring even more offshore wind energy to the Ocean State.  Orsted A/S and Eversource Energy are proposing an 884-megawatt wind farm off the coast of Block Island, within the same federal lease area as the 100-turbine project they are already developing for […]

The tail of a whale surfaces in the ocean

Right whales vs. commercial fishing: no ‘easy solution’ for NOAA, says Raimondo

BY: - March 15, 2023

Once hunted to near-extinction, the greatest threats to the endangered North Atlantic right whale now are accidental encounters with humans. Federal efforts to protect the whale species, which spends most of the year off the coast of New England, from collisions with ships and entanglements in fishing gear — incidents that represent the two leading […]

States to receive $2.5B from feds for electric vehicle charging infrastructure

BY: - March 15, 2023

The federal government will send $2.5 billion over the next five years to states, local governments and tribes to build electric vehicle charging infrastructure, Biden administration officials said Tuesday. The new Charging and Fueling Infrastructure grant program, which was authorized by the 2021 bipartisan infrastructure law, will spend $2.5 billion over five years to build […]