There is a very dangerous bill currently coming up for review in the House on Wednesday, May 2.
The House Bill, H7592 was introduced by Representatives Gallison, Malik, Morrison, Edwards, and Handy on February 16, 2012.
The Senate Bill 2870 is sponsored by Senator Lou De Palma, with the support of Senators Paiva-Weed and Chris Ottiano. It has been deemed to be a "dangerous" bill by Rhode Island Statewide Coalition, is too far-reaching, and has too much power. It is another Deepwater Wind, but far worse due to the power of eminent domain!
The group was formed in 2009 by nine communities, Bristol, Warren, Barrington, East Providence, Portsmouth, Little Compton, Tiverton, Middletown and Newport, and has pretty much stayed under the radar. At least one meeting violation has been filed with the Attorney General's office.
Basically the bill creates an entitity that can issue bonds to develop renewable energy - which is then sold to Narragansett Electric via net metering laws.
They will issue bonds to build windmills (which only last 20 years) and strap the taxpayers with the bill over x years. They will then sell the energy to the taxpayers at rates higher than natural gas energy – thus increasing the taxpayer's energy bill.
This consortium can also employ people as it sees fit – which would come out of the net metering revenues.
And, of course, the bill calls for providing pensions for these employees! "To pay pensions and establish pension plans, pension trusts, profit sharing plans and other incentive and benefit plans for any or all of its agents and employees."
What is not addressed is who pays for the removal of the dead windmill in no more than 20 years, and who pays for the toxic leaks that may contaminate the surrounding soil if it goes bad, or who pays for other unforeseen expenses?
Anchor Rising comment: "Apparently the legislature thinks things are going too smoothly between East Bay residents and the Bristol County Water Authority, so they want to throw another regional body with revenue collecting powers into the works."
But the scariest of all..... "The purpose of the Board would be to explore and promote the use of alternative, renewable energy sources in the communities of the East Bay. The Board would also have certain powers to accomplish this purpose, including but not limited to the authority to issue bonds and THE POWER OF EMINENT DOMAIN."
While the concept may be good, this trend to burden the taxpayer both with the FINANCING, and the RISK on these types of ventures is getting out of control. Find someone in the private sector to take it on, invest in it, and leave the taxpayers out of it. If there are no takers... it's because it's another Deepwater Wind... This is an empire in the making.... at taxpayer expense! We need LESS Government/Quasi-Government entities, not MORE! Call your legislator NOW!
The minutes for the meetings of the East Bay Energy Consortium can be found at http://sos.ri.gov/openmeetings/?page=meeting&id=122905. The bill is online at http://www.rilin.state.ri.us/BillText/BillText12/HouseText12/H7592.pdf.
Marina Peterson, Bristol and East Bay Patriots