New England

The Conservation Law Foundation is asking the Rhode Island Public Utilities Commission to reconsider its decision not to reject a consumer tax that would help pay for natural gas pipeline expansions in the region. The PUC denied CLF’s request in September.

The project was billed as a regional solution to rising electricity costs. But since then New Hampshire and Connecticut have followed Massachusetts in dropping the project. CLF Attorney Max Greene said the state of Maine has signaled it will consider the project but only if other New England states participate. 

John Bender / RIPR

Dorcas International Institute is one of the state’s largest immigration and refugee organizations. Since the election, many Rhode Islanders have reached out to the institute, a nonprofit that provides education, resettlement assistance and other services for immigrants and refugees.

Executive Director Kathy Cloutier said some people are making donations; others want to know how they can help to make sure immigrants still feel welcome in the state.

New England Readies For Trump’s Refugee Plans

Nov 29, 2016
RI State Council of Churches

Rhode Island resettled more than 300 refugees over the last year, including more than 100 from Syria. An even larger number of refugees are expected to arrive this year. But that could change under President-elect Donald Trump. 

Jack Haddon / Creative Commons License via Flickr

In a big preseason sale, Sugarloaf, Sunday River and four other New England ski resorts are being sold. And that’s just part of an $830 million deal that includes ski resorts, theme parks and other recreation properties around the country.

Sugarloaf and Sunday River’s land and infrastructure are owned by a massive real estate investment trust called CNL Lifestyle Properties. Now the resorts are changing hands in a deal that involves two companies, Kansas City-based EPR Properties and Och-Ziff, a multibillion-dollar institutional asset management firm based in New York.

Pi.1415926535 / Creative Commons License

Rail improvements may be on track for the New England Central Railroad, but another rail project stalled this year in New Hampshire, when lawmakers stopped a plan for commuter rail service into Boston. Now, it seems the November 8th election could change the tide for that commuter rail expansion.

Earlier this year, it seemed a commuter rail line could really happen for Southern New Hampshire.  

U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service

The rare New England cottontail rabbit and other shrubland species are getting some new help from the U.S. Fish and wildlife Service. The agency is targeting 15,000 acres of land in six northeastern states, to be included in a new "Great Thickets National Wildlife Refuge."

Ambar Espinoza / RIPR

The White House is honoring a Rhode Island fisherman Friday for his work promoting sustainable fishing in the industry.

Chris Brown has been fishing for more than 35 years. He’s receiving the “Champion of Change for Sustainable Seafood” award. 

Environmental Working Group

The carcinogen often referred to as the "Erin Brockovich chemical" is present in about two-thirds of the drinking water across the country, according to water testing data from the Environmental Protection Agency.

David González Romero / Creative Common License via Flickr

For the ninth year in a row, Rhode Island ranks among the top 10 states, taking fourth place this year, for energy efficiency programs and policies.  That’s according to a new report from the American Council for an Energy-Efficient Economy.

angus mcdiarmid/Flickr Creative Commons License

 

It's standard medical care: Newborn babies are routinely given a shot of vitamin K to help clot their blood. But some parents are declining the shots, in a move that some doctors disagree with.

Stephen Depolo / Creative Commons License via Flickr

National Grid has come under fire for two proposals related to natural gas. The utility company's goal is to bring down the cost of electricity in the wintertime, but some state lawmakers and environmental groups aren’t convinced.

Ambar Espinoza / RIPR

The new fishing year begins in May and federal regulators are seeking public comments for proposed catch limits for the region’s groundfish industry. The proposed regulations, particularly for Georges Bank cod, have southern New England fishermen worried.

Aaron Read / RIPR

A coalition of researchers from Rhode Island’s colleges and universities have released another round of reports on the state’s economy. RIPR political analyst Scott MacKay wonders what will happen to the latest round of research.

If Rhode Island were a bench, it would splinter under the weight of all the blue-ribbon commissions and consultant-generated reports that have for decades weighed in on what ails our state’s economy.

RIPR FILE

Rhode Island falls short providing adequate affordable housing to its lower-income residents.  The report comes from the advocacy non-profit National Low Income Housing Coalition.

According to the study, Rhode Islanders must earn at least $18.49 an hour to afford an average two-bedroom apartment. The minimum wage is currently nine dollars an hour, though efforts are underway to raise that to $10.10.

Hans-Petter Fjeld / Wikimedia Commons

In regional news, the Gulf of Maine Atlantic salmon, known as the “king of fish,” is one of eight marine species most at risk for extinction in the near future. The fisheries division of the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration just announced a new campaign to beef up efforts to help these endangered species survive.

NOAA Fisheries biologist Tara Trinko Lake said the Atlantic salmon were once abundant as far south as Connecticut, but they started to decline in the late 1800s from dams, overfishing, and pollution.

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