Many legislators argued that the project would put Rhode Island on a path to energy independence and prove a long-term financial boon to the state. Some, however, expressed concern that the legislation would place an onerous burden on taxpayers to the benefit of a single entity — Deepwater Wind.Deepwater counters that in the long run, electricity rates will drop - wind farms have high capital expenses but no fuel costs, which could bring rates down over time. But just weeks ago, the Conservation Law Foundation - currently working with state Attorney General Patrick Lynch, challenging the legality of the deal, told reporters:
"CLF supports renewable energy in general, and especially supports offshore wind for Block Island. But renewable energy is so important for our state that it must be done right — with fair rules, known in advance, that apply to all renewable energy developers equally. The Deepwater contract in this case was a backroom deal that benefits one developer only but does not help us get a strong renewable energy future."Nonetheless, Deepwater applied to federal authorities earlier this month to expand the project, and Rhode Island Governor-elect Lincoln D. Chafee remains cautious.
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