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Sen. Louis P. DiPalma’s (D-Dist. 12, Middletown, Little Compton, Newport, Tiverton) legislation (2019-S 0194A) that creates a Senate special legislative commission to study and evaluate the state’s electric and natural gas distribution and transmission infrastructure to ensure its reliance and resiliency was passed by the Senate.
“As we saw with the debacle that affected Aquidneck Island only five months ago, there are some significant deficiencies within our electric and natural gas infrastructure in Rhode Island. We cannot afford to have another similar situation, in the dead of winter, where our citizens are literally freezing in their own homes without any gas or electricity. This commission will use facts and data to determine what we can do in order to avoid another massive energy and heat shutdown in Rhode Island,” said Senator DiPalma in a statement.
The commission will consist of 19 members including three members of the Senate; the Administrator of the RI Division of Public Utilities and Carriers; the Chief Resiliency Officer of the RI Infrastructure Bank; the RI Cybersecurity Officer; the Executive Director of the RI League of Cities and Towns; the President of National Grid RI; the General Manager of Providence Water; the Executive Director of the Narragansett Bay Commission; the President of Enbridge Gas; the President of the Block Island Power Company; the General Manager of the Pascoag utility District; the President of the RI AARP; the Director of the RI Department of Environmental Management; and four members of the public.
The commission shall report its findings and results to the Rhode Island Senate on or before March 1, 2020 and the commission shall expire on June 30, 2020.