Dear Fellow Environmentalist,
For over a century, Audubon supporters have worked to protect birds, wildlife and natural habit from various threats. Today, the leading threat to our natural environment is catastrophic climate change.
For several years we have advocated for renewable energy strategies at the State House while promoting sustainable living strategies to the thousands of adults and children we teach each year.
In 2014, we helped pass the Resilient Rhode Island Act, which set greenhouse gas reduction goals for the state and created the Executive Climate Change Coordinating Council (EC4), an inter-agency body charged with leading the state’s greenhouse gas reductions and helping the state plan for the inevitable changes ahead.
This long-standing commitment to fighting climate change combined with our concern for wildlife habitats and corridors in western Rhode Island are the basis for Audubon’s strong opposition to the 900 MW Invenergy power plant proposed in Burrillville, Rhode Island.
The Invenergy Plant will disturb the integrity of western Rhode Island’s forested habitats and wildlife corridors. The proposed Invenergy power plant would undermine the integrity of one of Southern New England’s most intact, forested areas. Large tracts of forest are critical to the region’s biodiversity as well as our ability to adapt to and mitigate the threats of climate change.
The Invenergy Plant undermines Rhode Island’s ability to achieve greenhouse gas reduction goals set in the 2014 Resilient Rhode Island Act. The Resilient Rhode Island Act of 2014 set specific greenhouse gas reduction goals for the State of Rhode Island: 10% below 1990 levels by 2020; 45% below 1990 levels by 2035 and 80% below 1990 levels by 2050.
Rhode Island’s Executive Climate Change Coordinating Council is charged with developing a plan for achieving these goals. This plan, issued in December 2016, states, “An 80% [greenhouse gas] reduction by 2050 would likely require a near-zero carbon grid coupled with significant electrification of residential/commercial space heating and on-road vehicles”.
The Invenergy facility is not the right decision for the state or the region if we are urgently moving toward a near-zero carbon energy grid.
On March 8, 2017 at 10:00 AM, Audubon will join other leading environmental organizations to speak out in opposition to the Invenergy plant at the Environment Council of Rhode Island’s press conference in House Lounge at the Rhode Island State House. Please join us!
Lawrence Taft, Executive Director