Sen. Louis P. DiPalma’s (D-Dist. 12, Middletown, Little Compton, Newport, Tiverton) legislative commission to study and evaluate the state’s electric and natural gas distribution and transmission infrastructure to ensure its reliance and resiliency will meet virtually on Monday, December 21 at 10:30 a.m. and will be available to stream live at

“The purpose of this commission is to ensure that Rhode Islanders have a reliable and dependable utility infrastructure.  The necessity of heat and electricity is too great to allow the possibility of mass service problems, such as we had on Aquidneck Island almost two years ago, and this commission is tasked with preventing any future crises,” said Senator DiPalma.

The commission will receive an overview and regional update from ISO New England to be delivered
by Eric Johnson, Director of External Affairs and Kerry Schlichting, External Affairs Representative.  ISO New England is an independent, not-for-profit corporation responsible for keeping electricity flowing across the six New England states and ensuring that the region has reliable, competitively priced wholesale electricity today and into the future.

Members of the commission are Senator DiPalma, chairperson, Sen. Dawn Euer (D-Dist. 13, Jamestown, Newport); Sen. Jessica de la Cruz (R-Dist. 23, North Smithfield, Burrillville, Glocester); Linda George, RIDPUC; Jeffrey R. Diehl, RI Infrastructure Bank; Bijay Kumar, RI Cybersecurity Officer for DOA; Joe Nicholson, RI League of Cities and Towns; Terry Sobolewski, National Grid RI; Gregg Giasson, Providence Water; Jim McCaughey, Narragansett Bay Commission; John Sheridan, Enbridge Gas; Jeffrey Wright, Block Island Power Company; Michael Kirkwood, Pascoag Utility District; Kathleen Connell, AARP; Ronald Gagnon, RIDEM; Antonino Ferrera, ACEA International SA; Cornelia Mueller, Naval Station Newport; William F. Horan, Middletown resident and retired electrical engineer; and Sarah Atkins, City of Newport.

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Ryan Belmore is the Owner & Publisher of What's Up Newp, LLC. Belmore has led What's Up Newp since December 2012. Belmore also serves as the Sr. Editor - North America for Mountain News - publisher of OnTheSnow. In his spare time, Belmore serves as the Vice President for the Board of Directors at Fort Adams Trust and serves on the Board of Directors at Lucy's Hearth. Belmore is also a member and supporter of Local Independent Online News (LION) Publishers. Send questions, tips, and story ideas to