Climate Action Rhode Island (CARI), the Rhode Island affiliate of 350.org, is proud to announce its enthusiastic endorsement of Matt Brown for Governor of Rhode Island.
The climate crisis poses an existential threat to humanity, and to Rhode Island in particular. Our survival depends on electing bold leadership that will end our dependence on fossil fuels. With that fact in mind, CARI endorses political candidates based on their commitment to policies that support renewable energies, ratchet down carbon emissions, and move our society towards an environmentally sustainable future.
The 2018 Rhode Island gubernatorial race, in particular, has piqued the interest of the Ocean State’s environmental community. The incumbent, Governor Gina Raimondo, has taken several positive but uncontroversial steps for the protection of the climate.
However, true environmental leadership requires a firm stance against new fossil fuel development, which entails standing up to powerful, monied industry interests. Unfortunately, Governor Raimondo has proven to be a good friend to the fossil fuel lobby.
- She supports the construction of Invenergy’s massive, fracked-gas and diesel power plant in Burrillville, which would destroy hundreds of acres of pristine forest and contribute to air pollution and climate change — inconsistent with her stance on offshore drilling, but embarrassingly in line with the donations that Invenergy’s CEO made to her campaign.
- She supports National Grid’s plan to build a new LNG liquefaction plant on the shore of the Providence Bay. This would risk further environmental degradation and subsequent health concerns in South Providence, whose residents suffer from some of the highest asthma rates in the country. The plant would also lock in a new generation of fossil fuel use. By removing environmental-justice champions from the Coastal Resource Management Council and replacing them with business advocates, her agenda to streamline the approval of the plant is apparent.
- She has failed to endorse or support both the Energize RI Act and the Global Warming Solutions Act, two essential pieces of legislation in the fight against climate change.
Thankfully, Governor Raimondo is being challenged by a strong environmental justice candidate: former RI Secretary of State, Matt Brown.
Matt Brown recognizes that corporate dominance over our political system has led to the environmental degradation and climate crisis we now face. Solving this crisis is one of his top priorities. He has gone beyond what is politically expedient in terms of environmental leadership, signing the #NoFossilFuelMoney pledge and coming out in strong opposition to the Burrillville power plant and the South Providence LNG facility – those same, environmentally-damaging developments that Governor Raimondo avidly supports.
As an even greater testament to his environmental leadership, Matt Brown has laid out a bold, detailed plan for renewable energy development in the Ocean State. His goal is to turn offshore wind into the centerpiece of a dynamic, shared prosperity for all Rhode Islanders, generating 200% of our power needs, leading the country’s green transformation, and sharing the profits with all citizens.
Perhaps most importantly, Matt Brown tells the full truth about the reality of the climate crisis. Along with his willingness to speak directly and openly about systemic racism and our broken economic system, Brown does not water down how urgent and serious the climate crisis is. This is the kind of honest and courageous public leadership we need in Rhode Island and beyond.
For these reasons, Climate Action RI enthusiastically endorses Matt Brown for Governor of Rhode Island. He will lead our state to the forefront of climate action, environmental sustainability, and shared prosperity. We look forward to working closely with his administration in these efforts.
Kendra Anderson, Warwick, RI (President, CARI)
Alex Kithes, Woonsocket, RI (CARI Political Chair)