Rhode Island Governor Daniel McKee will give the opening luncheon keynote address on Monday, June 20, at the Southern New England Energy Conference at the Newport Marriott, Newport, RI.
McKee will discuss the state’s energy policies and its strong leadership in the region for moving the industry to increasingly higher blends of biofuels for heating, event organizers said in announcing the governor’s appearance.
“Notably, he’s the only governor in the country who was an owner in a heating oil business–McKee Brothers Energy Solutions in Cumberland, RI,” organizers said in the announcement. McKee was a third generation owner of the company founded in 1900.
McKee is a lifelong Rhode Islander, and the Ocean State’s 76th governor. He began his political career on the Town Council in his hometown of Cumberland. After serving for eight years, he was elected mayor. Following 12 years as mayor of Cumberland, he left office in 2014 when he was elected lieutenant governor. He became governor in 2021.
Elected Lieutenant Governor in 2014, he used the office to stand up for working Rhode Islanders and support small businesses. Together with 26 mayors, McKee sued Big Pharma amid the opiate crisis. He took on the giant electric companies and lowered costs for ratepayers. When the COVID-19 pandemic hit, McKee organized a grassroots small business movement ensuring millions of dollars in federal C.A.R.E.S. Act funds were allocated to support the small business community.
Born in Cumberland, McKee graduated from Cumberland High School. He holds a bachelor’s degree in political science and education from Assumption College. He earned a master’s degree in public administration from Harvard University’s Kennedy School of Government. He has owned and operated small businesses in the Blackstone Valley for three decades.