May 9, 2012
Letters, Rhode Island

Stop East Bay Energy Consortium bill

Barrington Patch, 8 May 2012

East Bay Energy Consortium Act must be stopped before it creates another quasi-governmental agency with too much power, including eminent domain.

The East Bay Energy Consortium, given a grant by the Economic Development Corporation two years ago, was originally envisioning a $75 million project to develop alternative energy – wind turbines in East Bay communities and selling that energy to National Grid.

What has emerged is a bill that creates a quasi-government entity granting unleashed powers to appointees or unelected officials that are a fatal blow to private property rights.

Over the past two months, town councils in the East Bay have passed resolutions supporting the East Bay Energy Consortium Act, apparently with no regard for the fact that they are putting their constituents property in harms way due to the power of eminent domain that is included in the bill.

Once this act is in place it has absolutely NO oversight. No regulating rates by the Public Utilities Commission, no reporting to the General Assembly, no elected officials to vote out if you don’t like it.

It cannot be altered or dissolved or impacted by any legislation until all bonds are paid off, regardless of the timeline. What do we end up with? A quasi-governmental organization that can pay its people whatever they want, offer a benefit package that has no accordance with private industry, can easily cover their expenditures because they can charge National Grid any rate they desire, and the ratepayers will absorb the cost.

You must look at this and decipher for yourself if you think your town council members have your best interest at heart. Putting your personal property at risk is egregious!

The Senate bill is S2870 and is sponsored by Senator DiPalma. The House bill is H7592 and is sponsored by Representatives Gallison, Malik, Morrison, Edwards, and Handy.

Representative Malik has since withdrawn his support and is urging his town council to withdraw their support.

This is a project for the private sector. Contact your town council members and tell them that you want this re-addressed! It’s not too late!

Marina Peterson, Bristol, East Bay Patriots

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