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Speaker Mattiello is ‘factually wrong, scientifically wrong, economically wrong, and morally wrong,’ on climate change, says Governor Raimondo



That couldn’t be more wrong,” said Rhode Island Governor Gina Raimondo. “…It’s factually wrong, scientifically wrong, economically wrong, and morally wrong.”

“I know that there are some who say that Rhode Island doesn’t have a role in this – it’s a national issue,” said Rhode Island Governor Gina Raimondo during her announcement on committing Rhode Island to be powered by 100 percent renewable electricity by the end of the decade.

Raimondo was directly addressing the comments made by Rhode Island Speaker of the House Nicholas Mattiello, who told an audience at a Boston Globe event Wednesday evening that, “[t]here’s nothing Rhode Island can do to address climate change in a way that’s real or impactful. This has to be done at the national level – and the international level – because even if our nation does and the rest of the world doesn’t participate, we’re still going to be in trouble and we’re not going to solve the problem.”

“That could not be more more wrong,” said Governor Raimondo, to applause.

“And I also know the Trump Administration isn’t going to do anything about it, because they’re part of that same group, [saying], ‘Oh there’s nothing we can do about it and it’s not a big problem anyway.’

“That’s wrong. It’s factually wrong, scientifically wrong, economically wrong, and morally wrong. So if you agree with me that it’s time to do the right, and ethical and economic and moral thing, and to position Rhode Island as leader, and create thousands and thousands of jobs in the process, in the trades, in industry, then join me today in getting behind a new goal.”

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Asked by ecoRI‘s Tim Faulkner if her comment was in response to Mattiello’s comments, the Governor responded, “Yes.”

“I strongly disagree with his position that this is a ‘national problem,’ that there’s nothing much Rhode Island can do,” continued the Governor. “That’s wrong in every sense of the word… I think we need state action and he’s dead wrong in suggesting that we don’t.”

Raimondo and Acting State Energy Commissioner Nicholas Ucci took other questions from reporters as well. Asked by UpriseRI if Rhode Island committing to be powered by 100 percent renewable electricity by the end of the decade means an effective end of new fossil fuel infrastructure development in Rhode Island, Raimondo deferred to Ucci, saying that “we have to is spend the next few months to figure out exactly what it means.”

Asked where the energy is going to come from, Ucci explained that that is what the Office of Energy Resources is going to work to determine over the next few months.

Raimondo told reporters that she felt it was important to set the most ambitious goal in the country, exceeding New York’s mandate to be 70 percent powered by renewables by 2030.

Asked about President Donald Trump‘s “war on windmills” and other anti-environmental policies, Raimondo said that she has “a long list of worries if this President is re-elected.”

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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.