PROVIDENCE, R.I. – Today, Lt. Governor Dan McKee issued the following statement in response to National Grid's performance during the most recent storm.
"Haven't we had enough? After the storm Rhode Island experienced in late October, thousands of families went days without power, small businesses struggled and our local economy took a hit. In response, I announced common-sense legislation to improve the emergency preparation and responsiveness of utility companies operating in our state. Several months later, here we are again with some Rhode Islanders experiencing their fifth day without power on the eve of another storm. It's time to pass House Bill 7306 and Senate Bill 2326 and hold the utility company accountable.
I want to thank the men and women who had their feet on the ground working in life-threatening conditions around the clock to restore power in our communities. This is not about the employees. This is about a multi-billion-dollar company based in the United Kingdom that has shown time and time again that they are not responsive to the needs of Rhode Islanders, but rather to the needs of their shareholders.
We need strict performance and preparedness standards for utility companies. We need an improved framework for communication between the utility company and our communities. We need accountability.
I urge Rhode Island to do as our neighbors in Massachusetts have done and pass Storm Response Legislation now."
McKee, who serves as Chair of the Rhode Island Emergency Management Advisory Council, modeled the Storm Response Legislation after Massachusetts law with input from the Division of Public Utilities & Carriers, municipal leaders, the League of Cities and Towns and the Rhode Island Emergency Management Agency. Read an overview of the legislation, here.
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