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The Special Legislative Commission to study the Energy Facilities Siting Act begins hearings



Cale Keable

The House convened the Special Legislative Commission to study the Energy Facilities Siting Act for the first time Tuesday. This first meeting was strictly organizational in nature and concerned itself with the election of the chair and vice chair of the commission, introduction of members, a discussion of the scope of the commission and the scheduling of the next meeting.

The commission is the product of legislation introduced by Representative Cale Keable.

The group quickly confirmed Representatives Cale Keable and Art Handy as chair and vice-chair respectively. The commission has to issue a report by January 31, 2018, but Chair Keable feels that deadline can be easily extended. The commission will meet four or five more times, says Keable.

Michael Sabitoni

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The purpose of the commission is to “make a comprehensive review of the Energy Facility Siting Act and provide recommendations for improving and updating the act including, but not limited to”:

  • Reviewing similar enactments in Massachusetts and Connecticut for best practices; and
  • Gathering input from relevant stakeholders in order to ensure the best public policyand outcome for coordinating, planning, and expediting decisions.

The Massachusetts Energy Facility Siting Board (EFSB) and the Connecticut Siting Council each have nine members, the Rhode Island EFSB has three.

The 14 member commission is made up twelve men and two women.

Todd Bianco

Diversity does not appear to have been a factor when choosing commission members.

Commission Members

  1. Representative Cale Keable (Democrat, District 47, Burrillville, Glocester); member of the Rhode Island House of Representatives; appointed by Speaker Nicholas Mattiello (Democrat, District 15, Cranston); elected chair of the committee
  2. Representative Art Handy (Democrat, District 18, Cranston); member of the Rhode Island House of Representatives; Chair of the House Committee on Environment and Natural Resources; appointed by Speaker Nicholas Mattiello; elected vice-chair of the committee
  3. Paul Roselli

    Representative Justin Price (Republican, District 39, Richmond, Exeter, Hopkinton) member of the Rhode Island House of Representatives, appointed by Speaker Nicholas Mattiello

  4. John Pacheco, President of the Burrillville Town Council
  5. Paul Roselli, president of the Burrillville Land Trust; appointed by Speaker Nicholas Mattiello
  6. Michael Sabitoni president of the Rhode Island Building & Construction Trades Council
  7. Amy Moses, vice president and director of Conservation Law Foundation (CLF) Rhode Island
  8. Todd Bianco, principal policy associate of the Rhode Island Public Utilities Commission (PUC)
  9. Terry Gray, associate director of environmental protection, Rhode Island Department of Environmental Management (DEM)
  10. Amy Moses

    Douglas Gablinske, executive director of The Energy Council of Rhode Island (TEC-RI), appointed by Speaker Nicholas Mattiello

  11. Nancy Hess, supervising land use planner for the Rhode Island Division of Planning
  12. Brian Daniels, president of the Rhode Island League of Cities and Towns
  13. Jason Olkowski, member of the public; appointed by Speaker Nicholas Mattiello
  14. David Chenevert, member of the public; executive director of the Rhode Island Manufacturers Association (RIMA), candidate for Rhode Island House of Representatives District 52, appointed by Speaker Nicholas Mattiello

Mike Hogan from the State House Policy Office is acting as clerk for the commission.

Nancy Hess was absent.


About the Author

Steve Ahlquist is Uprise RI's co-founder and lead reporter. He has covered human rights, social justice, progressive politics and environmental news for nearly a decade.