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Rhode Island Greenhouse Gas Stakeholder Group Awarded for Action Plan - EPA Climate Protection Award

Release Date: 05/12/2005
Contact Information:

Contact: Christopher Orlando - 617-918-1815

For Immediate Release: May 13, 2005; Release # co050501

Providence, R.I. – The Rhode Island Greenhouse Gas Stakeholder Group today was presented with the prestigious national EPA Climate Protection award, honoring the group’s work to develop a comprehensive statewide Greenhouse Gas Action Plan.

The R.I. group was jointly convened in 2001 by the state’s Dept. of Environmental Management and the state Energy Office. Drawing membership from a broad spectrum of interests, ranging from business, industry, non profits and government, the group met regularly over the course of many months and ultimately reached consensus on 52 strategies that were crafted into the statewide Greenhouse Gas Action Plan.

“The exceptional work of this diverse group provides a roadmap for how tough environmental issues can be addressed constructively,” said Robert W. Varney, regional administrator of EPA’s New England regional office. “The Action Plan will help Rhode Island to achieve lower emissions to the air, saving significant amounts of both energy and money - savings that can benefit the state’s environment and taxpayers.”

The Rhode Island Plan will reduce emissions by over 1 million metric tons and save $700 million of taxpayer money through 2020, according to state officials. Among the strategies implemented is a renewable energy standard law that requires companies licensed to sell energy in the state to include an increasing percentage of renewable energy in their fuel mix. Strict California low emission vehicle standards have been adopted in Rhode Island and will apply to new vehicles sold in the state.

Rhode Island’s Action Plan is among about 35 such statewide climate action documents that have been prepared to date. Cities and towns in the region and across the U.S. are also preparing plans to respond to climate change and are taking action to reduce fossil energy use and greenhouse gas emissions.

In 1998, EPA established the Climate Protection Awards to recognize exceptional leadership, personal dedication, and technical achievements in protecting the Earth's climate. In its first eight years, 110 awards have been presented to individuals and organizations from 16 countries. This year, 17 individuals and organizations earned the award by crafting international, national, state, and local policies; by reducing energy consumption; and by inventing technologies that protect the climate.

Visit EPA’s Climate Protection Awards ( for more information.