Providence Mayor Jorge Elorza is opposing National Grid’s proposal to build a natural gas liquefaction facility at Field’s Point in Providence.
After listening to concerned residents and experts, Elorza determined the city doesn’t need an LNG facility.
“The City of Providence – we’ve set an ambitious goal to be carbon neutral by the year 2050,” the mayor said, “and I believe we should be investing in clean energy, we should be investing in renewable energy, and frankly not supporting the fracking industry.”
Elorza said Providence should be a leader in clean technology.
"This is where there is job growth," said Elorza. "This is the way of the future. This is what we should be investing in as a city and I believe that an LNG plant here in Providence is not the right direction to move in."
National Grid currently owns an LNG storage facility on the site of the proposed project.
Spokesman David Graves applauds the mayor’s support for renewable energy, adding National Grid also supports renewable energy and energy efficiency. He said the utility is building the undersea cable and the supports systems for Deepwater Wind's Block Island Wind Farm. He said diverse energy sources are necessary to meet customer energy needs.
“The day may come when renewable energy will be the primary source of power in New England,” said Graves. “But that day is well into the future. National Grid has an obligation to provide for our customers’ energy needs today.”
Graves said the mayor is opposing an energy project that will create more than 150 construction jobs and add millions of dollars in tax revenues for the city. He said installing equipment to liquefy natural gas at Field’s Point will lessen the region’s reliance on foreign imports of liquefied natural gas by allowing the utility to “fill the tank” directly from pipelines instead of by delivery trucks.
“Installing this equipment will also help ease the burden of increased energy costs that have stifled economic growth in the area and have cut so deeply into the budgets of Rhode Island families,” said Graves.
Graves said this new LNG facility is especially critical during cold winter days, when the region's need for natural gas spikes and peaks considerably. He said the utility will continue to work with the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission to secure approval for its project.
Note: This post has been updated.