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More states are mandating renewable energy sources

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Posted at 9:47 AM, Jul 07, 2022
and last updated 2022-07-07 12:57:53-04

PROVIDENCE, RI — More states are looking to offset energy costs by using renewable sources.

Kai Salem of Green Energy Consumers Alliance has been working hard to push states to offset traditional fossil fuels with renewable sources.

"There's a lot of focus on federal policy generally, but energy is controlled at the regional or state level," she said.

Last month, lawmakers in Rhode Island set the fastest timeline for any U.S. state to reach 100% renewable electricity — a goal that must be reached by 2033. As the tiniest state in the nation, that might not sound like a big deal until considering that no community is willing to build any kind of new coal or nuclear plant. So they're essentially out of options when it comes to providing residents with new energy sources.

"The time is now. We have to decide what are we going to leave our children and our children's children for climate and community," said Deb Ruggiero, a representative from the state who helped get the legislation passed.

The push follows a Supreme Court decision that ruled the Environmental Protection Agency has no authority to reduce power plant emissions that contribute to global warming. It's a major setback to climate advocates, but people like Salem think these kinds of goals will help continue to fight climate change.

"It's a setback at the federal level," Salem said. "There are no silver bullets, and it's a reminder we have to start by talking to our neighbors and the people around us about transitioning to renewable energy."