RI House Republicans to Offer Amendment on Greenhouse Gas Emissions Bill to Preserve Fundamental Principles of Representative Democracy
State House, Providence, RI - Rhode Island House Republicans are raising grave concerns about the nearly unbridled power delegated to unelected state agencies by House Bill 5445, scheduled for a floor vote on Tuesday, March 23, 2021.
H5445 delegates to the Executive Climate Change Coordinating Council (ECCC) the dramatic and expansive legislative power to regulate all facets of Rhode Islander’s personal lives, businesses and municipalities, to achieve aggressive greenhouse gas emission reductions: 45% below 1990 emissions by 2030; 80% below 1990 emissions by 2040, and; net zero emissions by 2050.
Once a plan is adopted by the ECCC, all other state agencies are compelled to adopt regulations to enforce that plan, which will include control of our home heating choices, the automobiles we’re permitted to drive, how our businesses operate, the manner in which our communities plan and develop, and where our electricity comes from.
House Republicans believe that only elected representatives should wield these broad legislative powers: not unelected state agencies. Accordingly, House Republicans will offer an amendment Tuesday to require that any plan adopted by the Executive Climate Change Coordinating Council (ECCC) must first receive General Assembly approval before it is carried out by any other state agency.
“We can reduce carbon emissions and preserve our representative system of government at the same time,” said House Minority Leader Blake A. Filippi. “As H5445 is currently written, no personal, business, state or municipal activity is off the table in order to achieve dramatic emissions reductions. And unlike traditional agency regulation making, H5445 makes clear that these regulations may be imposed no matter the financial impact on Rhode Island families and businesses. Such a broad delegation of legislative power to unelected agencies is repugnant to our core democratic values. Accordingly, we will offer an amendment to require that any plan adopted by the ECCC must receive General Assembly approval in order to have the force of law. This requirement will ensure that Rhode Islander’s elected representatives do their jobs, rather than pass off their responsibilities onto others.”
“Unelected bureaucrats should not be in the position to place such costly burdens on Rhode Islanders,” said Minority Whip Michael W. Chippendale. “For instance, in order to achieve the contemplated 80% emissions reduction by 2040, Rhode Island homes must be retrofitted with electric heat - at a cost of $50,000 - $100,000 per home. This dramatic financial imposition on Rhode Island families should only be pursuant to a vote of their elected representatives, not the pen stroke of the ECCC -- an unelected state agency.”
“All Rhode Islanders should have grave concerns about RI House Bill 5445,” said Representative David J. Place. “We urge Rhode Islanders to speak up and call their representatives to hold this bill for further study, or to adopt our amendment. That way we may preserve representative government and our environment at the same time.”
The Rhode Island House of Representatives Minority Office Membership (Republican) is comprised of the following representatives who were elected by constituents who live in districts throughout the Ocean State: Minority Leader, Blake Filippi, District 36 (Charlestown, South Kingstown, Westerly, New Shoreham); Minority Whip, Michael Chippendale, District 40 (Foster, Glocester, Coventry); Deputy Minority Leader George Nardone, District 28 (Coventry); Representative Brian Newberry, District 48 (North Smithfield, Burrillville); Deputy Minority Leader David Place, District 47 (Burrillville, Glocester); Representative Justin Price, District 39 (Exeter, Hopkinton, Richmond); Deputy Minority Whip Robert Quattrocchi, District 41 (Scituate, Cranston); Senior Deputy Leader Sherry Roberts, District 29 (Coventry, West Greenwich). For more information, please visit our website at www.rihousegop.org
Chief of Staff
Rhode Island House of Representatives Minority Office
Rhode Island State House, Room 106
Providence, Rhode Island 02903