2009 -- S 0887

Enacted 04/22/09







     Introduced By: Senators McBurney, and Tassoni

     Date Introduced: April 22, 2009



     WHEREAS, Global warming is one of the greatest threats the world has ever faced.

Despite repeated warnings, our continued reliance on electricity sourced from coal-fired power

stations has resulted in a dramatic increase in the Earth's temperature, which in turn has resulted

in rising sea levels, increases in drought and severe storms, and massive changes to the

environment; and

     WHEREAS, America's carbon dioxide emissions from the burning of fossil fuels have

increased twenty percent since 1990, leading to 2006, which was the hottest year on record in the

continental United States; and

     WHEREAS, On March 31, 2007, over 2.2 million residents of Sydney, Australia and

over 2,100 businesses turned off their nonessential lights and turned their appliances to standby

for one hour as part of Earth Hour, which led to a 10.2 percent energy reduction across the city;


     WHEREAS, If the greenhouse reduction achieved during that hour were sustained for a

year, it would be the equivalent of removing 48,616 cars from the road for a year; and

     WHEREAS, Individual action on a mass scale can help change the planet for the better.

Further, by reducing electricity demand, we can reduce output from power plants; and

     WHEREAS, A Rhode Island nonprofit organization Lights Out, Green In has formed

to convince individuals, businesses, and governments to pledge to turn off their lights during the

hours of 11 AM and 1 PM when sunlight is at its greatest and the need for artificial light is at its

least; and

     WHEREAS, Lights Out, Green In has also promoted the use of compact fluorescent

lights and has attempted to distribute compact fluorescent light bulbs to low-income residents and

to establish an endowment to fund global warming research; and

     WHEREAS, Turning off lights would not only help the environment, but it would also

save money for individuals, businesses, and governments during these tough economic times; and

     WHEREAS, By following the Lights Out, Green In Pledge, one office building of 77,000

square feet will cut its electricity usage by more than 3 percent, which will save up to $465 per

month on the building's electricity bill and will cut greenhouse gas emissions; and

     WHEREAS, Greenhouse gases produced by the burning of fossil fuels for energy and

transportation are the leading causes of global warming in Rhode Island; and

     WHEREAS, Twenty-five percent of the greenhouse gases produced in Rhode Island are

produced by the electricity sector; and

     WHEREAS, There is broad consensus among the scientific community that human

activity is contributing to global warming; and

     WHEREAS, Global warming is a threat to the climate, economy and environment of the

State of Rhode Island; and

     WHEREAS, As a result of global warming, hotter days in Rhode Island cause more

ozone days, when the air is unhealthy to breathe and particularly dangerous for the approximately

100,000 Rhode Islanders who suffer from asthma; and

     WHEREAS, Fall foliage, an important tourist attraction, and a valuable feature of Rhode

Island's quality of life, is threatened by global warming; and

     WHEREAS, Rhode Island has 400 miles of densely populated coastline that is threatened

by rising sea levels, beach erosion, and more extreme weather patterns caused by global warming;


     WHEREAS, Efforts have been made to mitigate negative social, economic and

environmental impacts of climate change, and to assess these impacts to identify feasible

adjustments that the state and individuals can make; and

     WHEREAS, The State of Rhode Island should explore any initiatives that may save

money, including reducing our electricity output; and

     WHEREAS, State and local governments are committed to lead by example in

implementing activities that address global warming; now, therefore be it

     RESOLVED, That this Senate of the State of Rhode Island and Providence Plantations

hereby recognizes the vital role it must play in order to successfully address the issue of global

warming pollution here in Rhode Island; and be it further

     RESOLVED, That this Senate strongly supports any initiative that seeks to reduce our

greenhouse emissions; and be it further

     RESOLVED, That this Senate is committed to promoting the Lights Out, Green In

Pledge that individuals, businesses, and government employees turn off their lights during the

hours of 11 AM and 1 PM, thereby reducing global warming pollution from the electricity

consumed here in Rhode Island; and be it further

     RESOLVED, That this Senate recognizes that this pledge does not advocate turning off

all lights and electrical devices, but rather changing our habit to use electricity only when

necessary and to use electricity more efficiently when such use is necessary, including, but not

limited to, replacing conventional light bulbs with compact fluorescent light bulbs where

possible; and be it further

     RESOLVED, That this Senate recognizes the vital role it must play and therefore

encourages all businesses, individuals, and our own state and municipal offices to participate in

this pledge; and be it further

     RESOLVED, That the Secretary of State be and he hereby is authorized and directed to

transmit duly certified copies of this resolution to The Honorable Donald Carcieri, Governor and

Matthew J. Martinelli, Executive Director, Lights Out, Green In, Inc.