When it comes to energy, public outcry is the only control.
Jon Caldara makes an excellent point about energy in Colorado that applies in Rhode Island, as well:
… the Public Utilities Commission’s job was (key word there) to fight for the least cost energy while protecting our environment. That mission has been turned on its head. Least cost is the PUC’s very last priority. This suits the greenies and the corporate cronies just fine.
Energy companies, like Xcel, are guaranteed a “rate of return.” That’s guaranteed profit on whatever they do. Anything they do! Thus, their business model is not providing power. It’s building stuff. Any stuff!
Consequently, they love “environmental” mandates.