Governor McKee lays out climate change plan for Rhode Island

His plan includes spending $95 million to improve two ports, supporting the development of offshore wind energy, and more.

Rhode Island Democratic Gov. Dan McKee delivers his State of the State address to lawmakers and guests in the House Chamber at the Statehouse. Stew Milne/Associated Press

PROVIDENCE, R.I. (AP) — Rhode Island Gov. Dan McKee on Wednesday proposed spending more than $150 million during the next fiscal year on several initiatives intended to address threats to the state from climate change by cutting greenhouse gas emissions.

His plan includes spending $95 million to improve two ports and support the development of offshore wind energy. It also proposes spending $23 million to expand the state’s network of electric vehicle charging stations, and $37 million to reduce the costs of installing efficient electric heat pumps.

The plan, funded in large part through federal coronavirus stimulus money and President Biden’s infrastructure bill, would help the economy.


“The budget will fund a series of proposals that will not only reduce harmful greenhouse gases and build more resilient communities, but it will also invigorate our economy by creating good-paying jobs,” the Democrat said at a news conference.

His plan also includes $6 million per year to the state climate council to fund planning and policy development to help it meet the goals of the Act on Climate that requires Rhode Island to reach net-zero emissions by 2050.

In a separate budget article, McKee proposed a $24-million bond issue to help communities prepare for the impacts of climate change, fund clean energy programs, and conserve forests.


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