Investigating the Puerto Rico Electric Power Authority
As months add up and many in Puerto Rico still do not have access to reliable electric service, the Puerto Rico Electric Power Authority is drawing greater scrutiny from federal officials.
Senator Elizabeth Warren, who has been supporting Puerto Rico throughout the recovery attempts, joined Senators Bernie Sanders, Richard Blumenthal, Edward Markey, and Catherine Cortez Masto in a letter to FEMA and the Army Corps of Engineers, asking for a “update on federal efforts to restore the electric grid in Puerto Rico.”
The letter acknowledges the work being done by the two organizations, listing the 1,300,000 PREPA customers already receiving service, the focus on rebuilding the Island’s power distribution networks, and the temporary generators being built. The authors go on to point out that rural areas are still without power, with serious consequences to health and well-being, and that urban areas have also complained about the slow response and the areas still without power. Half the intersections in Puerto Rico, for example, still do not have traffic lights. Only 71% of PREPA’s power transmission stations are operational. And the people working on the problem are beginning to leave Puerto Rico.
FEMA and the US Army Corps of Engineers are also being closely looked at, for their role in recovery efforts, especially as they wind down operations despite the prevailing need.