PROVIDENCE, R.I. - Governor Gina M. Raimondo will meet in Hartford, Connecticut on April 23, 2015 with the Governors of other New England states to pursue next steps in regional efforts to develop and implement a cooperative strategy to address energy infrastructure challenges.
The Governors will meet at the Connecticut Convention Center for a private roundtable organized by the Coalition of Northeastern Governors (CONEG).
The Governors will explore common solutions to energy challenges facing the region in an effort to combat the high cost of electricity in New England, the lack of infrastructure to bring natural gas to power plants, growing concerns about reliability, and the transmission challenges of integrating power from renewable energy sources into the grid.
"Rhode Island must create conditions that will jumpstart our struggling economy, provide more certainty on energy costs for businesses, and create jobs," said Raimondo. "To achieve this we must collaborate on a regional level to reduce energy costs and strengthen grid reliability, all while advancing important environmental goals. I am committed to moving ahead with cost-effective, regional energy infrastructure projects - including expansion of natural gas capacity - that will improve our business climate and create new opportunities for Ocean State workers. I look forward to discussing our region's pressing energy challenges with my fellow Governors, and implementing cooperative solutions that enhance New England's shared economic future."
Prior to the Governors' working session, a "Northeast Regional Energy Forum" for energy stakeholders will take place at the Connecticut Convention Center from 8:15 a.m. to 10 a.m.
At the forum, a panel will address regional infrastructure issues and will feature special guests Richard Levitan, president and principal of Levitan & Associates, Inc., and Gordon van Welie, president and chief executive officer, ISO New England Inc. A second panel will feature state energy officials who will discuss state initiatives and regional collaboration that is already underway.
The "Northeast Energy Forum" will be live streamed on the Connecticut Network's (CT-N) website at www.CT-N.com. The public will also be able to follow the forum discussion on Twitter @4neenergy and to also Tweet questions for panelists.
At their roundtable, the Governors will discuss a variety of resources to address the energy challenges facing the region - including cost-effective investment in new natural gas infrastructure, the continued integration of clean energy resources, aggressive investment in energy efficiency and distributed generation. The Governors will be focused on regional solutions and individual state efforts that can help the region reduce energy costs, reduce carbon pollution, and ensure the economic competitiveness of the New England region.
All six New England Governors are expected to attend the April 23 session: Governor Dannel P. Malloy, Connecticut; Governor Paul R. LePage, Maine; Governor Charlie Baker, Massachusetts; Governor Gina M. Raimondo, Rhode Island; Governor Peter Shumlin, Vermont.