September 13, 2016
Honorable Governor Gina Raimondo
RI Energy Facility Siting Board
Janet Coit, Director, RIDEM
Carol Grant, Director, Office of Energy Resources
Meg Curran, Chairwoman, RI PUC
Parag Agrawal, Associate Director, Division of Planning
Michael Wood, Town Manager, Town of Burrillville
With great concern and contemplation, the
Blackstone Valley Tourism Council Board of Directors has voted
to stand against the proposed Invenergy Clear River Energy
Center. The Tourism Council has worked as a steward for more
than thirty (30) years for our nine Blackstone Valley
communities. The Tourism Council operates not only as a
tourism development agency but also as a manager of the
Sustainable Tourism Development Laboratory, which recently
developed a Geo-Tourism plan for the Town of Burrillville.
The Blackstone River Valley is considered
the birthplace of America’s Industrial Revolution and Economic
Freedom. Excessive industrialization has also earned us the
title of the first unsustainable landscape in North America.
Since 1787, industrial waste deposited in our rivers and streams
has severely crippled and polluted our landscape, rivers and
The Tourism Council utilizes our 240 square
mile landscape for the purposes of investigating ways to balance
our environment, our economy and our cultural resources. Our
agency has become globally recognized as a pacesetter in
sustainable tourism development. Our newly announced
Blackstone River Valley National Historical Park is a testament
to this work.
Professionals from the United Nations World
Tourism Council, the George Washington University, the World
Travel and Tourism Council, the University of Surrey in England,
The US Environmental Protection Agency and the US National Park
Service have assisted in the Blackstone Valley regeneration.
The process of reclaiming our landscape has not been a simple
one, with billions of dollars being spent in restoring our lands
and rivers to a natural state.
The Clear River Energy Center proposal is a
bold contradiction to the values and beliefs held important to
the Tourism Council and its work and sets the Blackstone Valley
back in time. Therefore, the Blackstone Valley Tourism Council
Board of Directors requests opposition of the proposed Invenergy
Clear River Energy Center.