The doctor-turned-politician from Massachusetts is running for a second time as the Green Party presidential candidate.
Jill Stein is on the ballot in 22 states and Washington, D.C. She’ll need a thousand signatures by September to add Rhode Island to the list. Rhode Island Public Radio environmental reporter Ambar Espinoza sat down with Stein during a stop in Providence to talk about her campaign and the direction she would like to take the country if she were elected president.
Stein was in Rhode Island to join a protest in Rhode Island, Wednesday during one of her campaign stops.
A coalition of residents and environmental groups organized a rally against National Grid’s proposal to build a facility to liquefy natural gas in Providence. Stein said she supports grassroots efforts to stop fossil fuel projects.
“We need to stand up for an America that works for us,” said Stein. “And it’s the power of these grassroots groups that are coming together that are beating back this fossil fuel infrastructure all over the country.”
Stein said investing in renewable energy would stimulate the economy by creating many much-needed jobs.
Sherrie Andre is a co-founder of FANG Collective, one of the groups protesting the facility. Andre said many residents are aware that home heating oil, aviation fuel, and most of the state’s gasoline comes through the Port of Providence.
“A lot of them are really getting ready to say, ‘We don’t need anything else here. We live here,’” said Andre. “And it’s important that everybody in the city recognizes that what happens in the port doesn’t stay in the port. It affects all the communities that make up Providence.”
Andre said people are worried about further raising the area’s risk to manmade and natural disasters (like explosions and hurricanes).
But National Grid spokesperson Darlene Masse said the utility company currently owns an LNG storage facility on the site of the proposed project.
“And this has been running safely for 40 years,” said Masse. “This [new] facility is really critical to our region and to our heating needs, especially during cold winter days.”
During the colder months, the region’s need for natural gas spikes and peaks considerably, Masse said. She said the proposed facility would allow National Grid to “fill the tank” directly from pipelines instead of by delivery trucks.