Raimondo and McKee ask for passage of utility reform bill

May 3, 2019

PROVIDENCE, R.I. (AP) — Rhode Island’s governor and lieutenant governor are asking the legislature to pass a bill they say will allow the state to demand greater accountability from National Grid.

Democratic Gov. Gina Raimondo and Lt. Gov Dan McKee held an event in Newport Friday to call attention to the proposal. A weeklong natural gas outage affected thousands of National Grid customers in the Newport area this winter.

Legislation has been introduced to require utilities to submit emergency response plans and meet performance standards for emergencies, or face a fine. A House committee recommended it be held for further study in February and a Senate committee recommended indefinite postponement on Tuesday.

McKee has said the bill is modeled after a Massachusetts law.

State utility regulators are investigating the natural gas outage.