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Washington DC. – New York Attorney General Letitia James today asked federal authorities to investigate disruptions to electric service in Puerto Rico and the performance of LUMA Energy.
“Not only is the frequency of outages problematic, but the duration is a growing concern”James said in a letter to Energy Secretary Jennifer Granholm, FEMA Administrator Deanne Criswell and Energy Regulatory Commission Chairman Richard Glick.
James argued that the current blackout is adversely affecting the functioning of the health system, schools and courts, and is putting a strain on businesses. The Department of Energy is leading the analysis of the Puerto Rico 100 program, which seeks to develop guidelines for the island to have an energy system focused on renewable energy sources.
“According to the Puerto Rico Power Office, since January there has been an increase in the length of monthly outages per customer, with outages lasting more than 21 hours in each case,” he added.
At a time when much of Puerto Rico is without power due to the scourge of Hurricane Fiona, James recalled that it has been five years since Hurricanes Irma and Maria and that the island’s government has almost $9.5 billion in funds available to modernize and strengthen the grid .
“While I fully support continued aid efforts to help Puerto Rico, I am convinced that we need long-term structural support for the island, not just a band-aid to get us from one crisis to another,” the attorney general said. in New York State.
“I am calling for a federal investigation into LUMA and critical updates and reforms to the system so that Puerto Ricans are never left in the dark again.” Together, we must continue to fight for long-term solutions to stabilize and strengthen Puerto Rico and stand in solidarity with our brothers and sisters on the island,” James added.
On the other hand, Puerto Rico (New York) Democratic Congressman Ritchie Torres today led a request to the Biden administration to speed up the restoration of the electric power system.
Torres’ letter – signed by Washington Gov. Jennifer González, Rep. Darren Soto, D-Puerto Rico, and fellow Democrat John Larson – is addressed to Secretary Granholm, Administrator Criswell and HUD Secretary Marcia Fudge.
Federal lawmakers suggest that “nowhere is Maria’s legacy more entrenched than in the chronic failure of the rapidly deteriorating electrical system.”
“We are writing to call on FEMA, HUD, DOE and all relevant agencies to come together and do everything possible to accelerate the rebuilding of the electric grid, which has become the most dire infrastructure need in the United States.” The electricity system is so depleted that every natural disaster, such as Hurricane Fiona, causes man-made disasters due to power outages. It is so damaged that even a Category 1 hurricane is enough to plunge an island of more than three million people into darkness,” they added.
The lawmakers noted that while they applaud President Joe Biden’s emergency declaration, “the federal government cannot simply respond to the consequences of Hurricane Fiona.
“We urge everyone to act quickly to cut red tape and rebuild the network.” the people of Puerto Rico deserve the same reliable electricity that the rest of the United States takes for granted,” the four lawmakers said in the letter to DOE, HUD and FEMA officials.