Non-profit

Rhode Island Public Interest Research Group (RIPIRG)

Website:

ripirg.org

Location:

PROVIDENCE, RI

Tax ID:

05-0517165

Tax-Exempt Status:

501(c)(4)

Budget (2019):

Revenue: $14,428
Expenses: $10,915
Assets: $53,249

Rhode Island Public Interest Research Group (RIPIRG) is the 501(c)(4) advocacy arm of the Rhode Island Public Interest Research Group Education Fund. It is the Rhode Island state affiliate of the U.S Public Interest Research Group (U.S-PIRG). It is an advocacy organization promoting and providing social welfare incentives that affect the general public.[1]

RIPIRG’s consist of advocacy programs that work in public education and outreach involve recruiting volunteers, distributing educational literature, conducting surveys and discussing issues including farm use of antibiotics, marketplace products and creating zero-waste programs.[2]

Activities

RIPIRG’s public education and outreach programs involve recruiting volunteers, distributing educational literature, conducting surveys and discussing issues with the public to stop the overuse of antibiotics in food production, works to provide consumer protection around product safety and creating zero-waste programs.[3]

The Stop the Overuse of Antibiotics

The Stop the Overuse of Antibiotics is a national network in charge of the efforts to stop the overuse of antibiotics in food production by promoting consumer protection and increasing regulation around product safety in addition to creating zero waste programs.[4]

PIRG Consumer Watchdog

The PIRG Consumer Watchdog is a network dedicated to educating consumers on products in store shelves and advocating for policies against special interests, with a focus on consumer threats in data breaches and toys products.[5]

Beyond Plastic

The Beyond Plastic program calls for lawmakers to push for a statewide ban on polystyrene take-out containers.[6]

Key Employees

Douglas H. Phelps is the Chairman of the U.S. Public Interest Research Group (PIRG) and the President and Executive Director of Public Interest Network (PIN).[7] In 1979, whilst serving as director of Massachusetts Public Interest Research Group (MASSPIRG), Phelps helped organize the Fund for the Public Interest and U.S. PIRG, National Environmental Law Center as well as several left-leaning environmental nonprofits including Green Century Capital Management, Green Corps, and Environment America.[8]

Faye Park serves as President and Executive Vice President of PIRG as well as as the executive vice president for The Public Interest Network.[9]

Ed Mierzwinski oversees the U.S. PIRG’s federal consumer and coalition co-founder of Americans for Financial Reform.[10]

Susan Rakov is Senior Vice President of the Public Interest Network (PIN) and Managing Director of Frontier Group, a project of PIN.[11]

Controversies

Environment America

Environment America, a federation of state-based left-of-center 501(c)(4) advocacy groups, played a key role in passing H277/S2274 in Rode Island. H277/S2274 codifies the Executive order issued by previous Governor Gina Raimondo in 2018 that required an annual 1.5 percentage point increase in the amount of electricity required to be generated from renewable sources by 2035. H277/S2274 changes that to a “100 percent Renewable Energy” standard by 2033. [12]  Environment America separated from the Public Interest Research Groups (PIRG) in 2007 bringing with it the organization’s national environmental advocacy program. [13]

In early 2022 Rhode Island became the first state to require 100% of the state’s electricity to be offset by renewable energy by the year 2033. [14]

In 2018 Environment California successfully pushed to pass Senate Bill 100 in California, a statewide commitment towards 100% zero-carbon energy by the year 2045. This came after Environment America started its 100% Renewable Campaign, a campaign to advocate for 100% usage of renewable energy nationwide. [15] The state of New Mexico and Washington enacted similar laws a year later. This prompted Rhode Island’s Governor Gina Raimondo to sign an executive order in 2018 for 100% renewable electrical energy. Efforts by Environment America joined with in-state advocates to codify the same bill but failed the state’s legislative chambers in 2021. [16]

Efforts to add Rhode Island were pushed to pass the bill after 9 states had done so successfully. Soon after Rhode Island’s decision to commit to 100% renewable, Former RIPIRG Advocate Kate Canada sent a photo to Environment California staff a 2014 campaign brochure by RIPIRG campaigning for a renewable energy standard. [17]

References

  1. “About Us.” RIPIRG. Accessed July 14, 2022. https://ripirg.org/feature/rip/about-us ^
  2. “About Us.” RIPIRG. Accessed July 14, 2022. https://ripirg.org/feature/rip/about-us ^
  3. “About Us.” RIPIRG. Accessed July 14, 2022. https://ripirg.org/feature/rip/about-us ^
  4. “Stop the Overuse of Antibiotics.” RIPIRG. Accessed July 14, 2022. https://ripirg.org/feature/rip/stop-overuse-antibiotics ^
  5. “PIRG Consumer Watchdog.” RIPIRG. Accessed July 14, 2022. https://ripirg.org/feature/rip/pirg-consumer-watchdog ^
  6. “Beyond Plastic.” RIPIRG. Accessed July _, 2022. https://ripirg.org/feature/rip/beyond-plastic ^
  7. “Public Interest Network.” Influence Watch. Accessed July_, 2022. ^
  8. “Douglas H. Phelps.” RIPIRG. Accessed Jul7_, 2022. https://ripirg.org/staff/xxp/douglas-h-phelps ^
  9. “Faye Park.” U.S PIRG. Accessed July 14, 2022. https://uspirg.org/staff/usp/faye-park ^
  10. “Ed Mierzwinski.” RIPIRG. Accessed July 14, 2022. https://ripirg.org/staff/xxp/ed-mierzwinski ^
  11. “Susan Rakov.” RIPIRG. Accessed July 14, 2022. https://ripirg.org/staff/usp/susan-rakov ^
  12. “Rhode Island legislature commits to 100% of state’s electricity from renewable sources by 2033. If governor signs bill, Ocean State will have nation’s fastest timeline to power state solely with renewables.” Environment Rhode Island. June 23, 2022. https://environmentrhodeisland.org/news/ame/rhode-island-legislature-commits-100-state%E2%80%99s-electricity-renewable-sources-2033 ^
  13. “Environment America.” Influence Watch. Accessed July _, 2022. https://www.influencewatch.org/organization/public-interest-network/ ^
  14. “Governor McKee Signs Historic Legislation Requiring 100% of Rhode Island’s Electricity to be Offset by Renewable Energy by 2033.” State of Rhode Island – Governor Dan McKee. June 29, 2022. https://governor.ri.gov/press-releases/governor-mckee-signs-historic-legislation-requiring-100-rhode-islands-electricity-be ^
  15. “Environment America redoubles “100% Renewable” campaign in 13 states. National organization looks to build on clean energy success in states across the U.S.” Environment America. February 8, 2021. https://environmentamerica.org/news/ame/environment-america-redoubles-%E2%80%9C100-renewable%E2%80%9D-campaign-13-states#:~:text=Since%202018%2C%20when%20Environment%20America%20and%20its%20state,commitments%20to%20100%20percent%20clean%20or%20renewable%20electricity. ^
  16. “Rhode Island legislature commits to 100% of state’s electricity from renewable sources by 2033. If governor signs bill, Ocean State will have nation’s fastest timeline to power state solely with renewables.” Environment Rhode Island. June 23, 2022. https://environmentrhodeisland.org/news/ame/rhode-island-legislature-commits-100-state%E2%80%99s-electricity-renewable-sources-2033 ^
  17. Shahan, Zachary. “Rhode Island Passes Soonest 100% Renewable Electricity Commitment In USA.”Clean Technica. July 2, 2022. https://cleantechnica.com/2022/07/02/rhode-island-passes-soonest-100-renewable-electricity-commitment-in-usa/ ^
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Nonprofit Information

  • Accounting Period: June - May
  • Tax Exemption Received: April 1, 2002

  • Available Filings

    Period Form Type Total revenue Total functional expenses Total assets (EOY) Total liabilities (EOY) Unrelated business income? Total contributions Program service revenue Investment income Comp. of current officers, directors, etc. Form 990
    2019 Jun Form 990EZ $14,428 $10,915 $53,249 $5,160 $0 $0 $0 $0
    2018 Jun Form 990EZ $80,651 $17,569 $102,899 $58,323 $0 $0 $0 $0

    Additional Filings (PDFs)

    Rhode Island Public Interest Research Group (RIPIRG)

    11 S ANGELL ST UNIT 150
    PROVIDENCE, RI 02906-5206