Lowering the Cost of Energy

Date: April 16, 2014

As the backbone of the Rhode Island economy, small business owners
understand the importance of affordable and reliable energy to the economy and
the critical role that infrastructure plays in providing that reliability. The
availability of competitively priced electricity as a result of adequate
natural gas pipeline capacity and access to hydroelectric power is an integral
component of the cost-of-doing-business in Rhode Island. High energy have long been
an impediment to job growth in Rhode Island, especially for small businesses.
Since affordable energy is of paramount importance to small business
competitiveness, and since we must improve the way the state and the region
approach energy infrastructure, NFIB/RI supports the natural gas pipeline
expansion and the access to hydroelectric power improvements contained in the
Affordable Clean Energy Security Act (ACES), Senate Bill No. 2439.


Senate 2439 takes an important first step by requiring that the
Rhode Island Public Utility Commission and the Office of Energy Resources work
with utility companies to, among other functions, advance the development and
construction of incremental natural gas transmission capacity. The market
signal created by this requirement is important, as New England has recently failed
to capitalize on national natural gas cost trends. Several nearby Mid-Atlantic
states have been using new drilling techniques to enhance shale gas production
and to produce domestic natural gas at unprecedented levels and at lower
prices. Unfortunately, New England’s inadequate natural gas pipeline capacity
has resulted in continued high energy prices in the region. Similarly, the
access to hydroelectric power must be improved. In short, our state and our
region must work together to lower the cost of fuel and energy to guarantee
economic development and growth.


Senate 2439 will improve the supply of natural gas and
hydroelectric power in Rhode Island. For the small business community, a
reliable supply of energy means moderated prices at predictably affordable
levels. Stable prices encourage economic growth, job creation, and investments
to improve the business.

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