“We are gathered here today to consider an extraordinary roadmap to action,” said Tim Guinee, a television, film and stage actor. “One that will lead to economic prosperity, and lead to thousands of jobs, and light a torch of possibility, a beacon for the rest of the nation to follow…”


The Rhode Island Progressive Democrats of America (RIPDA) and Ocean State Community Energy invited the public to learn about their plan to make Rhode Island 100 percent fossil fuel energy free in ten years. The plan begins with Ocean State Community Energy’s blueprint for a renewable energy utility in Cranston, and a plan to expand that throughout Rhode Island.

This work immediately caught the interest of Kansas, Maine, Montana, New Hampshire, and Oregon. The plan is unrelated to Governor Gina Raimondo’s recent commitment to get Rhode Island to the point where 100 percent of the State’s electrical generation in from renewable sources, which accounts for between 18 and 30 percent of energy consumption in the Rhode Island. The RIPDA plan is for all energy to come from renewables, including home heating and transportation.

The plan calls for both new and existing technologies to be used. Outside the venue, in the parking lot, as an example of a new technology, the Be-wind vertical wind turbine, developed by WhiteLeaf Energy Systems. The Be-wind turbine is advertised as being 30 percent more efficient than other vertical wind turbines, and is designed to fit into urban environments.

“We’re all hear tonight to explore what a green energy economy would mean to Rhode island,” said Capri Catanzaro, deputy coordinator of the RIPDA, who emceed the event.

“Sunrise is the Movement behind the Green New Deal,” said Kaylynn Polley, and organizer with South County Sunrise. “Everyone has something to lose to the climate Crisis. Whether that’s places you love, the places you call home, the air you breathe, the water we drink, people we’re going to lose to climate disasters – We all have something that we’re fighting for…”

Joshua May and Brandon Boucher, with Ocean State Community Energy, are also working with the tribal government at Standing Rock to create a solar, wind and micro-grid energy storage system to power the reservation. The presented a slide show to outline their project.

“There’s a lot of opportunity for some pretty exciting designs, programs and plans to happen in a state of a million people that was the state that brought the industrial revolution to the United States,” said Boucher.

“I’ve been in the General Assembly now for ten years,” said Representative Teresa Tanzi (Democrat, District 34, Narragansett, South Kingstown). “And I look at our teeny-tiny state and I think exactly what you guys are thinking. We are ready to embrace some kind of a revolution – it’s time for that next thing to happen in our state…”

“I want to encourage all of you today to think about centering the voices of the voiceless,” said Joseph Molina Flynn, executive director of the Rhode island Latino Political Action Committee (RILPAC). “That is, children in communities of color who are often impacted by climate injustice…”

“I tell CFO all the time that this is the first time that you can go 100 percent green and save money for your company,” said Jim Mathers of Clean.Tech, one of the business partners involved with the plan.

A video message from the CEO of Clean.Tech:

Joshua May and Brandon Boucher return to introduce other business partners working on this venture:

“One of the reasons I’m here is jobs. Our community needs jobs,” said James Vincent, President of the Providence Branch of the NAACP. “Green jobs are twice as intensive as fossil fuel jobs.” A massive overhaul of our state’s energy system “would mean thousands of new jobs.”

“For decades and decades on end, our government has sold out our environment and our health to the fossil fuel industry and to the development of power plants, for the sake of profit,” said David Morales, candidate for the House District 7 seat in Providence, in a rousing speech. “However, we are assembled here today, after years and years of protest, advocacy and community organizing… to fight for a future – a future where everybody has clean air and access to renewable energy…”

“We are gathered here today to consider an extraordinary roadmap to action,” said Tim Guinee, a television, film and stage actor. “One that will lead to economic prosperity, and lead to thousands of jobs, and light a torch of possibility, a beacon for the rest of the nation to follow…”

Catanzaro wrapped things up.



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