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Chafee Establishes Executive Climate Change Council in Exec. Order

Friday, February 21, 2014

 

Today, Governor Lincoln D. Chafee, joined by U.S. Senator Sheldon Whitehouse and other government leaders signed an Executive Order to create the Rhode Island Executive Climate Change Council (ECCC). The ECCC will advise the Governor, the General Assembly, and the public on new methods to keep Rhode Island one of the nation’s leaders in addressing and adapting to the challenges made by climate change.

“I am establishing the Council because for too long there has been strong evidence and scientific consensus that manmade greenhouse gases will have profound effects on global climate, weather patterns and ocean conditions; effects that the state cannot afford to ignore,” Governor Chafee said. “Rhode Island must act boldly to position the state as a national leader in climate adaptation with a comprehensive approach that will benefit our communities and businesses.”

The Director of the Rhode Island Department of Environmental Management, Janet Coit, will chair the ECCC, and it will include the leaders of the following State agencies: Coastal Resources Management Council; Department of Administration; Department of Transportation; Department of Health; Emergency Management Agency; Office of Energy Resources; Division of Planning; and Rhode Island Commerce Corporation.

“Rhode Island is already seeing the effects of climate change through coastal erosion, higher risk from storm surge, and shifting seasons and fisheries,” said Senator Sheldon Whitehouse, Co-Chair of the Bicameral Task Force on Climate Change in the U.S. Congress. “Governor Chafee, like his father John before him, has long advocated for stronger environmental policies. The executive order announced today builds on that long legacy of environmental leadership and will help Rhode Islanders prepare for the changes ahead while also reducing the carbon emissions that are causing them. I thank the Governor for taking this important step.”

Among its initiatives to develop long-term strategies to prepare for the impacts of climate change, the Council is tasked with working with the cities and towns to help prepare communities, as well as identify and leverage federal, state, and private funding opportunities for emission reduction. Rhode Island’s collaboration and partnership will continue with other New England governors and the Eastern Canadian premiers to explore areas of mutual interest to achieve common environment goals.

“Climate change is one of the biggest challenges we face when it comes to ensuring the health and resilience of our natural resources, infrastructure and quality of life,” said Department of Environmental Management Director Janet Coit. “I look forward to working with the Council over the coming months to develop an action plan that will address the impacts of climate change on Rhode Island.”

The executive order calls for the Governor to receive a formal report with findings, recommendations, and a status update on achieving the objectives by May 1, 2014, with subsequent reports due yearly on May 1.

 

Related Slideshow: Is Clay Pell the Next Lincoln Chafee?

Privileged bloodlines, prestigious prep schools, lofty political ambitions.  Is Clay Pell the next Lincoln Chafee?  

Below is a look at the similarities -- and differences -- between Governor Lincoln Chafee  and likely gubernatorial aspirant Clay Pell.  

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Family Legacy - Chafee

Lincoln Chafee is the son of John Chafee, the former Governor of Rhode Island, U.S. Senator, and Secretary of the Navy, who was a decorated WWII and Korean War Veteran, and posthumously awarded the Presidential Medal of Freedom.  

Named in his honor include the USS Chafee (DDG-90), the John H. Chafee Blackstone River Valley National Heritage Corridor and the John H. Chafee National Wildlife Refuge.

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Family Legacy - Pell

Grandfather Claiborne Pell was Rhode Island's longest serving Senator, having served six terms from 1961 to 1997, whose legacy includes the Pell Grant, the National Endowment for the Arts, and the National Endowment for the Humanities.  

A decorated coast guard lieutenant in WWII and foreign service officer, Pell's Rhode Island legacy includes the Newport Bridge being renamed the Claiborne Pell Bridge, as well as the Pell Center of International Relations and Public Policy established at Salve Regina University.

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Money - Chafee

Both Chafees and Senator Pell had to disclose as members of the U.S. Senate personal financial information -- and both a considerable net worth.  

The U.S. Senate is known as the U.S. Millionaires Club -- in 2005, while Chafee was still in the Senate, Open Secrets pegged Chafee's wealth at between $40 and $63 million dollars.  

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Money - Pell

In a Time piece entitled "The New Limousine Liberals", the magazine pegged grandfather Pell's net worth at $12.7 million -- in 1992.  

The website Celebrity Net Worth puts wife Michelle Kwan's personal wealth at $8 million. 

While Pell's first campaign finance report has yet to be made public, records show Pell gave Democratic challenger Gina Raimondo $250 during her bid for General Treasurer in 2010.  

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Education - Chafee

Chafee was educated public schools in Warwick, and attended private schools Providence Country Day, and Phillips Academy before graduating from Brown University.  

Chafee then attended the Montana State University in the horseshoeing school.

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Education - Pell

Pell attended the private boarding Thacher School in California for high school, graduating in 2000.  The school's noted equestrian and outdoor programs require that students ride and care for a horse during their first year.  Current tuition is over $50,000
 
Pell, a JAG who graduated first in his class from Coast Guard Direct Commission Officer School, has a JD from Georgetown University and graduated from Harvard University with high honors in Social Studies and a Citation in Modern Standard Arabic. 
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Early Career -- Chafee

Chafee served as a delegate to the Rhode Island Constitutional Convention in 1985, and was elected to the Warwick City Council the following year.  

He was Warwick's mayor in 1992 until 1999, when he was appointed to the U.S. Senate in 1999 when his father passed away while in office.

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Early Career -- Pell

Named to the 2011-2012 class of White House Fellows, Pell served as Director for Strategic Planning on the National Security Staff prior to his appointment by President Obama as Deputy Assistant Secretary for International and Foreign Language Education last April.

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Wife - Chafee

Chafee's wife, Stephanie Danforth Chafee, holds a B.S. in Nursing from Boston University, an MBA from the University of Connecticut, and an Honorary Doctor of Humane Letters from the University of Rhode Island, helped found the Rhode Island Free Clinic in South Providence, and was featured as one of the ‘25 Models of Promise’ in Shirley Sagawa’s The American Way to Change. 
 
Mrs. Chafee was a co-founder of Women Ending Hunger and has served on advisory boards for Miriam Hospital, Rhode Island Hospital, the Rhode Island Zoological Society and the Rhode Island Foundation.  Last April, she was recognized as one of the YWCA Rhode Island's Women of Achievement.
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Wife - Pell

A decorated Olympic figure skater and world champion, Michelle Kwan went on to pursue a career in public service, serving as an American Public Diplomacy Envoy as well as on the President's Council on Physical Fitness and Sports -- and was recently inducted into the U.S. Figure Skating Hall of Fame.

 
 

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