On Monday, October 29, the three year anniversary of Invenergy‘s application to the Energy Facilities Siting Board (EFSB) for a permit to build a $1 billion fracked gas and diesel oil burning power plant amid the pristine forests of northwest Rhode Island, Conservation Law Foundation Senior Attorney Jerry Elmer held a “brown bag lunch” briefing to let reporters, environmentalists and other interested parties know where the case now stands.
In one sense, Elmer’s message was simple: “It’s time to finish the case,” said Elmer. “It’s time to deny a permit.”
Three years is about three times longer than it has taken to license any previous power plant in Rhode Island. Though Invenergy claims that the delays are being caused by the “well-funded” grassroots campaigns of local residents and environmentalists, as well as journalists like this author and blog posts from Jerry Elmer, the fact is, as much a I’d love to take my share of the credit Invenergy is offering, all the delays have been a product of Invenergy’s own incompetence.
Some details I thought were interesting, but it may be only me:
Can you help us?
Funding for our reporting relies entirely on the generosity of readers like you. Our independence allows us to write stories that hold RI state and local government officials accountable. All of our stories are free and available to everyone. But your support is essential to keeping Steve and Will on the beat, covering the costs of reporting many stories in a single day. If you are able to, please support Uprise RI. Every contribution, big or small is so valuable to us. You provide the motivation and financial support to keep doing what we do. Thank you.
Jerry Elmer says that in retrospect, he may have been wrong to say that the Town of Burrillville entering into a tax agreement with Invenergy was a mistake. Entering into the deal has allowed the Town to pay Attorney Michael McElroy for his services, and McElroy, in Elmer’s estimation, is one of the best energy lawyers there is.
As for the importance or influence of Governor Gina Raimondo on the disposition of the case before the EFSB, Elmer said, “I would like it if Governor Raimondo would hold a press conference for no other reason than to oppose the power plant.”
But the fact that Raimondo is unlikely to do so doesn’t seem to disturb Elmer. Invenergy is a zombie, he says. Invenergy is dead, but it doesn’t know it yet.
I have presented the full video of Elmer’s presentation below. It’s a great way to catch up on the case ahead of tomorrow’s October 31 hearing on a series of motions before the EFSB.
The EFSB hearings resume tomorrow at 10am in Hearing Room A of the Public Utilities Commission Offices, 89 Jefferson Boulevard, Warwick, Rhode Island.
UpriseRI is entirely supported by donations and advertising. Every little bit helps: