The Future of RI’s “Tree Bill”
During the 2023 RI Legislative session, Rhode Island Energy submitted a bill that would create statewide tree trimming and vegetation management standards upon the approval of the RI Public Utilities Commission, which did not pass. We all agree that we want our electric distribution lines to be maintained to reduce power outages, but the proposed legislation gave overreaching authority to the utility. Above all – Aquidneck Island loves its trees and our tree canopy and many of us work very hard to ensure its longevity and diversity.
In the months ahead, a dialogue will begin to discuss how we proceed. Aquidneck Island will have a voice in that conversation. I am optimistic that we can draft a new proposal for tree trimming standards for Rhode Island to be considered in the 2024 Legislative session.
We can be protected from power outages that may increase in the years to come and power restoration is critical to the economy and the safe well-being of us all.