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To-Do List for New Rhode Island Energy Czar Includes Boosting LNG Availability

Rhode Island Gov. Donald Carcieri on Thursday signed an executive order creating Rhode Island's first chief energy advisor to the governor, who will be in charge of coordinating state energy policy and overseeing the state energy office.

Carcieri named Andrew Dzykewicz to fill the new position and charged him with enacting a five-point energy agenda that focuses on increasing the availability of liquefied natural gas (LNG) in Rhode Island, reforming the electric energy market, addressing the needs of low-income families, securing renewable energy resources and conducting an energy audit of state government.

In creating the new office, Carcieri noted that Rhode Island families and employers are facing unprecedented increases in energy costs. The governor said that addressing rising energy costs will require a holistic and fundamental reform of the way Rhode Island consumers access and use energy. The governor also pointed to the need to continue to ensure that low-income Rhode Islanders have access to the energy they need to heat their homes through the winter months.

Carcieria plans to increase Rhode Island's supplies of natural gas by supporting the regional siting of LNG terminals that can feed the Rhode Island market. A number of LNG facilities are already under construction in Eastern Canada. Once online, these facilities will expand Rhode Island's natural gas supplies, while avoiding the dangers posed by efforts to site LNG terminals in densely populated areas along Narragansett Bay, Carcieri's office said.

Carcieri has worked with governors and premiers in Rhode Island's neighboring states and Canadian provinces to develop a regional approach to the siting of LNG facilities.

While he has opposed the concept of locating a marine LNG terminal in the densely populated Port of Providence, or in Fall River, MA, Carcieri has had numerous discussions with federal, state, and Canadian officials regarding Rhode Island's potential for accessing LNG from Canada.

Two new LNG terminals are currently under construction in New Brunswick and Nova Scotia. When completed, these facilities, and others currently under consideration, will help increase Rhode Island's supplies of natural gas "without posing the same serious safety, security and environmental threats as the proposed KeySpan and Weavers Cove projects," Carcieri's office said.

Dzykewicz is currently a senior project manager at the Rhode Island Economic Development Corp. (RIEDC), focusing on energy issues. As the former president of Energy Solutions Rhode Island, Inc. from 1996 through 1997 and of Quonset Energy Associates, Inc. in 1995, and as Chief Power Engineer of Maguire Group Inc. from 1987 to 1995, Dzykewicz has significant experience in the field of energy policy in Rhode Island.

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