Congressman Ritchie Torres and Resident Commissioner Jenniffer González-Colón Urge the Biden Administration to Restore Electricity to Puerto Rico As Quickly As Possible

On June 13th, Congressman Ritchie Torres (NY-15) and Resident Commissioner Jenniffer González-Colón (PR) sent a letter to Secretary of Energy Jennifer M. Granholm regarding the current energy crisis in Puerto Rico. The letter reads:

“We are writing to express our deep concern over the ongoing power outages in Puerto Rico, which have left many residents without electricity for extended periods. These power outages are having a severe impact on the daily lives of Puerto Ricans, hindering access to essential services, disrupting businesses, while posing significant health and safety risks.

“For many weeks, thousands of residents in Puerto Rico have been without access to electricity. The latest outage left over 340,000 customers without power, while impacting water reservoirs and the main airport. It has been reported that multiple municipalities in the Central and South region of the main island will have to wait weeks until power is restored. This wait time can be compared to what many families go through right after a natural disaster, the difference is that this time is happening without a hurricane or any major disaster. We cannot wait until an emergency to fix something that we know does not work. The current state of the electric grid in Puerto Rico is unacceptable. The lack of reliable energy infrastructure has persisted for too long, and it is clear that immediate and decisive action is required to address this critical issue.

“The federal government has a responsibility to ensure that all U.S. citizens, including those in Puerto Rico, have access to reliable and stable electricity. We urge the U.S. Department of Energy to intervene and provide the necessary assistance to expedite the rebuilding of the electric grid in Puerto Rico. This intervention should include the establishment of emergency protocols to address the immediate needs of those affected by the outages, and as well encourage collaborations with States, power companies, and other federal agencies to provide urgent assistance when needed to reestablish power. Additionally, a comprehensive plan should be developed and implemented to stabilize and modernize the electric grid to prevent such occurrences in the near future. Federal resources and expertise are essential to support the local efforts in Puerto Rico and to ensure that the rebuilding process is efficient and effective. The residents of Puerto Rico deserve the same level of support and infrastructure reliability as those on the mainland.

“We respectfully request that the Department of Energy prioritize this issue and take all necessary measures to restore reliable electricity to Puerto Rico as quickly as possible. Your attention and action on this matter are crucial to improving the quality of life for millions of Americans living in Puerto Rico.

“Thank you for your prompt attention to this urgent matter.”

A PDF file of the letter can be found here.

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