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South Kingstown School Bond: Inter Alia, a Really High Price to Reduce Classroom Space by 200,000 Sq Ft

On May 4, residents of South Kingstown will be voting on an $85,000,000 school bond referendum.

That’s a pretty high amount for town residents to go on the hook for, mainly because the town’s student enrollment has been steadily declining but also because the cornerstone component of the proposed works, the high school, would not be newbuild but conversion of an existing school building. Two miles AWAY, by the way, from its current in-town location.

As there would be state funds involved, the project itself, its costs and its proposed funding sources have to be approved by the Rhode Island Department of Education. (Link here to the town’s facility application submitted to RIDE).

So the Ocean State Current reached out to RIDE with the questions below and received the indicated answers.

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No Cost Projections or Means Identified to Achieve Rhode Island’s Green New Deal

The innocently named “2021 Act on Climate”, H5445, has been ominously rocketing through the General Assembly. It passed the full House on March 23 and the full Senate is scheduled to vote on it this afternoon. If it passes, it will have cleared the General Assembly and presumably be sent straight on to Governor Daniel McKee for his action within seven (ten?) days.

Informally dubbed “Rhode Island’s Green New Deal”, H5445 would mandate the reduction to zero by 2050 of greenhouse gases in Rhode Island – a goal that could only be accomplished by eliminating the use of all fossil fuels and transitioning entirely to renewable energy sources, wind and solar; i.e., from reliable, reasonably priced energy sources to intermittent, exorbitantly expensive ones. More about it here, including why the effective date of substantial implementation would be 2026, not thirty long years from now.

But perhaps we are missing something. Have proponents of the bill answered the critically important question about cost of implementation?

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Tell Governor McKee To Veto Rhode Island’s Version Of The Green New Deal!

Take action now! Add your voice to the many thousands who have asked Governor Dan McKee to live up to his promises as an advocate for the small business community, to take decisive action to relieve businesses of excessive green mandates and to ensure our state’s long-term viability by VETOING Rhode Island’s Green New Deal.

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Say NO to Radical Energy Scheme Rocketing Through The General Assembly

A full on assault against the average Rhode Island family is rocketing through the General Assembly. The Ocean State is quickly moving to put our own version of the Green New Deal into law. We need you to take action immediately to voice your opposition to it, before it is too late. Click here now to say NO to this far-left radical scheme from the land of make-believe.

This, along with the TCI Gas Tax, will paralyze our state. As we struggle to recover from the pandemic, it should be inconceivable that state lawmakers would choose NOW to consider an additional 30-40 cents per gallon gas tax increase or impose a radical, prohibitively expensive energy scheme.

Yet, the price of gasoline could soon rise (even more than it already has) if a new stealth carbon-tax scheme – the TCI Gas Tax – is implemented … a move that would necessarily increase costs on families and business, driving more people out of our state. The House of Representatives will vote on House Bill 5445 this Tuesday. This version of the state’s green new deal has already passed the RI Senate.

Even if you have contacted lawmakers already, we need you to take action again to oppose RI’s Green New Deal: Click here to contact lawmakers to say NO to the TCI Gas Tax and H5445, Rhode Island’s Green New Deal!

The simple form, once completed, will automatically send an email to the Governor and to legislative leaders telling them to reject the regional gasoline cap-and-trade scheme and RI’s Green New Deal.

Tell them today that you stand against these radical energy schemes. Thank you for taking action, and remember that your voice counts.

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House Vote Tuesday – Would Inflict Extremest Global Warming Measure on RI

On Tuesday, the Rhode Island House will be voting on H5445A. It would mandate the reduction to zero of greenhouse gases in Rhode Island. While the deadline in the bill is 2050, the real deadline is five years from now, at which point, the lawsuits can start. From the bill:

The Rhode Island attorney general, any Rhode Island resident and any Rhode Island corporation, company, organization, nonprofit or other Rhode Island legal entity or organization registered with the Rhode Island secretary of state may bring a civil action to enforce this chapter.

Click here, courtesy UpriseRI, for the case in favor of the bill.

Nowhere in that article or anywhere has there been offered any science or evidence that this most drastic of measures would have any impact whatsoever on global warming nor has there been remotely adequate disclosure about the ludicrous cost of bringing it about (converting every house and building in the state to electric-only heating and AC) or the impact on our power supply of changing the grid over from a reliable, constant fuel source to an unreliable, intermittent one (routine rolling blackouts) while simultaneously adding enormous demand to it or the impact (sky-rocket) on residents’ and businesses’ electric bills of being compelled to purchase power only from renewable energy sources.

In the presumably deliberate absence of this information, accordingly, combined with our observation of the experience of other states who converted even a small portion of their grid to renewables, we can assume the worst on all of those fronts.

If you, like so many of us, do not think this is a good idea, feel free to share your concerns with your state representative before Tuesday.

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One Year In: Lockdowns 100% Destruction; Zero Benefit

On its one year anniversary, it would be irresponsible not to look at the effectiveness of the COVID-19 lockdown. Florida and California vividly demonstrate that the answer is “completely ineffective”: the two states have had similar outcomes to very different approaches, making it clear that lockdowns did not and do not work to slow or stop the spread of COVID-19.

What about Rhode Island? Well, we locked down. And we have the third highest COVID-19 deaths nationally.

Lockdowns, even if they worked exactly as hoped, were never a good solution because of the enormous public health and other consequences they inflict. One year later, it is clear, as they do not achieve even their hoped-for goal, that they are entirely destructive with zero public health benefit.

Now, let’s look at where Rhode Island stands on the original reason for a lockdown: two weeks to flatten the curve and not overwhelm hospitals. Below is the trend of Rhode Island’s hospitalizations; specifically, Column U, “Currently Hospitalized” of this sheet:

4/28/2020: 375 (Spring, 2020 peak)

12/15/2020: 516

1/25/2021: 380

3/9/2021: 141

By this original goalpost, Rhode Island can open up fully, now. (Please stop with the agonizing and ineffective baby steps.) More to the point, the state never needs to lock down again for this (or any) reason. This is because, to her credit, former Governor Gina Raimondo set up COVID-19 field hospitals. While they were recently shut down because COVID-19 cases have dropped markedly, they will remain in place in the event of a surge.

The evidence and observed science one year into COVID-19 lockdowns is blaring and indisputable: they do not work. All states can and should open up immediately, fully, without restrictions – including nursing homes with reasonable protections. Refusing to do so is to deny the plain evidence and prolong the needless suffering and very serious health and other consequences of lockdowns.

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Center Calls on McKee to Withdraw R.I. from Raimondo’s TCI Gas Tax Scheme

The Rhode Island Center for Freedom and Prosperity calls on the newly sworn-in Governor of Rhode Island, Daniel McKee, to officially withdraw the Ocean State from the regional gasoline cap-and-trade scheme, known as the Transportation & Climate Initiative (TCI).

“For years as Lieutenant Governor, Dan McKee expressed verbal support for the small business community. Now is the time for the Governor to take action and to separate himself from his predecessor’s anti-business policies. The Governor should immediately put to rest any notion that his administration will impose a job-killing, budget-destroying gasoline tax on businesses and families who are struggling to recover from the pandemic,” commented Mike Stenhouse, the Center’s CEO. “Today, our Center calls on the Governor to take executive action to formally withdraw Rhode Island from the TCI compact.”

In December, former Governor Gina Raimondo signed-on Rhode Island, just one of three states to do so, to the TCI Memorandum Of Understanding (MOU). Implementation of TCI would lead to a significant increase in automobile and diesel gasoline prices, while also systematically limiting regional supplies of vehicle fuel.

In calling on Governor McKee to eschew the costly TCI gas tax, the Center points to research and polling that shows why TCI is poor public policy:

  • Rhode Islanders are not “bad guys” that should be punished for driving their vehicles, as one gov’t official in Mass. expressed
  • The regressive TCI gas tax would disproportionately harm low-income families
  • The high economic costs and job losses would further hamper our state’s faltering economy, with virtually no environmental benefit in return
  • An overwhelming majority of polled Ocean Staters do not support TCI, once they understand the high costs
  • A TCI gas tax would make our state even less competitive, by weakening our already worst-in-the-nation business climate

Later this week, the Center will announce a public campaign to petition the Governor and state legislative leaders to reject the TCI compact.

More information about the proposed TCI gas tax can be found on the Center’s TCI webpage: RIFreedom.org/NoTCItax. The Center is one of over two-dozen organizations in the northeast working cooperatively to defeat TCI in their respective states.

[This is a public statement released by the Rhode Island Center for Freedom and Prosperity today.]