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Author: Daniel Ziebarth

US territories leading on switch to solar energy

In the midst of modern headlines and debate pertaining to the way in which climate change will affect countries across the globe, US territories are leading the way in terms of shifting energy use away from fossil fuels and towards solar power. In Puerto Rico, solar energy has been central to the rebuilding process and recovery, particularly through the use of solar energy to power healthcare facilities. Not only has solar power been increasingly utilized in Puerto Rico, but expanding the use of solar energy has become a primary goal for many residents and officials going forward. Cutting-edge technology...

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Guam Memorial Hospital funding in dispute between business and public officials

Chamber of Commerce members and public officials in Guam are currently proposing various solutions for funding woes that are facing the Guam Memorial Hospital. At the center of discussion surrounding funding for the hospital is a recently introduced bill, Bill 230-34. Bill 230-34, which was introduced to the Legislature of Guam by the Governor of Guam, Eddie Calvo ®, on January 11, 2018 and is sponsored by the Committee on Rules, has proposed to close funding gaps for the Guam Memorial Hospital through the removal of tax exemptions on gross receipts entities such as banks, insurance providers, and wholesalers....

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Despite struggles, Puerto Rico can be positioned for economic diversification

In spite of the countless headlines highlighting Puerto Rico’s economic and infrastructural struggles in recent months, it is important to also discuss the myriad opportunities for the territory to achieve consistent economic prosperity going forward. Inarguably, the majority of current news headlines focusing on Puerto Rico have focused on issues that include inability to pay back debt, challenges in the face of natural disaster, and difficulty rebuilding local infrastructure. These articles have primarily illuminated problems that many citizens, businesses, and government institutions of Puerto Rico have been facing, and discussed the relative severity of respective events. While news stories...

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The future of Senator Sanders’ “Marshall Plan” for Puerto Rico and the US Virgin Islands

Following World War II, the United States provided Western European countries with over $12 billion in funding in order to assist in the redevelopment of infrastructure and capital projects to rebuild the shattered economies in the wake of years of armed conflict. On Tuesday, November 28, Senator Bernie Sanders (I) of Vermont and Senator Elizabeth Warren (D) of Massachusetts released a similarly targeted “Marshall Plan” for Puerto Rico. The proposed plan includes $146 billion worth of overall funding for Puerto Rico and the US Virgin Islands, and would provide $13 billion for the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) to...

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Financing issues interrupt electrical grid rehabilitation in Puerto Rico

While Puerto Rico continues to rebuild in the wake of Hurricane Maria, a new hurdle has appeared as Whitefish Energy has stopped their work in the territory. Whitefish Energy has been working with the Puerto Rico Electric Power Authority (PREPA) to reconstruct over 100 miles of downed transmission lines, however, on Monday November 20, the Montana-based company released a statement explaining that payments from PREPA had been delayed causing Whitefish Energy and its subcontractors to stand down “until PREPA pays for approved work already completed”. CEO of Whitefish Energy, Andrew Techmanski, also stated in the release that the shortfall...

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