R 337
2017 -- S 0981
Enacted 06/22/2017

S E N A T E   R E S O L U T I O N

Introduced By: Senators Miller, Felag, Conley, and Sosnowski
Date Introduced: June 21, 2017

     WHEREAS, The Resilient Rhode Island Act of 2014 established goals for the reduction
of statewide greenhouse gas emissions from 1990 levels by 10 percent in 2020, 45 percent in
2035, and 80 percent in 2050; and
     WHEREAS, According to the recent Executive Climate Change Coordinating Council's
Greenhouse Gas Emissions Reduction Plan (Plan), Rhode Island is on track to meet the Resilient
RI target for the year 2020 but not for 2035 or 2050; and
     WHEREAS, The Plan finds that the transportation sector is the largest greenhouse gas
(GHG) contributor in Rhode Island and achieving the 2050 target would likely require 76 percent
of on-road vehicle miles traveled to be electrified; and
     WHEREAS, The Plan details how electric vehicles produce a GHG reduction benefit due
to the inherent efficiency of the motor and drivetrain as well as the relatively cleaner emissions
profile. This GHG reduction benefit increases over time as the electricity supply shifts toward
higher clean energy penetration; and
     WHEREAS, Plug-in electric vehicles (PEVs) have tremendous potential to reduce
residents' and businesses' expenditures on imported gasoline and diesel in addition to advancing
the state's clean energy and climate goals. There is an urgent need for the State of Rhode Island to
provide clear guidance for PEV owners, utilities, regulators, third-party providers, and other
stakeholders, and to facilitate and prepare for large-scale PEV adoption in a manner that provides
consumer and environmental benefits to the maximum extent possible; and
     WHEREAS, The Transportation & Climate Initiative, a regional collaboration of 12
Northeast and Mid-Atlantic jurisdictions that seeks to develop the clean energy economy and
reduce greenhouse gas emissions in the transportation sector, cites a Pike Research survey
highlighting that the Providence-New Bedford-Fall River metropolitan area is likely to have high
penetration rates or absolute sales of electric vehicles relative to the national average; and
     WHEREAS, Rhode Island's electric vehicle charging infrastructure now includes over 75
Level 2 (240 volt) electric vehicle supply stations; and
     WHEREAS, The United States Department of Transportation recently designated the
Interstate 95 highway as an alternative fuel corridor and this designation is expected to both
accelerate private investment in electric vehicle infrastructure and bring additional federal support
to the region in the future; and
     WHEREAS, Increasing the use of electricity for transportation through the large-scale
adoption of PEVs represents a significant opportunity to further important state policy goals to
reduce transportation expenditure on imported gasoline and diesel, boost economic activity by
keeping more of our energy dollars in state, diversify our transportation fuel networks, reduce
greenhouse gas pollution, modernize the electric grid, and reduce criteria air pollutants; and
     WHEREAS, The Rhode Island Public Utilities Commission (RIPUC) is well suited to
consider and make recommendations regarding the structural reforms necessary to ensure that
PEVs are integrated into the electric system in a manner that enhances distribution system
reliability, minimizes costs, and protects consumers; now, therefore be it
     RESOLVED, That this Senate of the State of Rhode Island and Providence Plantations
hereby respectfully requests that the RIPUC submit a report to the Governor, Senate President,
and Speaker of the House on or before November 30, 2017, to develop a regulatory framework to
establish principles and guidance for standards that must be met by a utility seeking to invest
ratepayer funds in electric vehicle infrastructure; and be it further
     RESOLVED, That the Secretary of State be and hereby is authorized and directed to
transmit a duly certified copy of this resolution to the Rhode Island Public Utilities Commission.