Senator Lou DiPalma

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.

Ryan Belmore

Ryan Belmore is the Owner and Publisher of What'sUpNewp.  He has been involved with What’sUpNewp since shortly after its launch in 2012, proudly leading it to be named Best Local News Blog in Rhode Island by Rhode Island Monthly readers in 2018, 2019, and 2020 and an honorable mention in the Common Good Awards in 2021.

He currently serves on the Board of Directors for Potter League For Animals. He previously served on the boards of Fort Adams Trust, Lucy's Hearth, and the Arts & Cultural Alliance for Newport County.

In 2020, he was named Member of the Year by LION and won the Arts & Cultural Alliance of Newport County's Dominque Award.

He is a member of Local Independent Online News (LION) Publishers, the Society of Professional Journalists, and the North American Snowsports Journalists Association.

Born and raised in Rhode Island, he spent 39 years living in Rhode Island before recently moving to Alexandria, Virginia, with his wife and two rescue dogs. He still considers Rhode Island home, and visits at least once a month.