How Puerto Rico is Being Enslaved: Part I

Pedro Pierluisi was a pit bull attorney. He won $180 million in damages for the government of Peru and was, from 1993 to 1997, the Secretary of Justice of Puerto Rico. But he never made any real money until 2008, when he became the island’s Resident Commissioner.

A “Resident Commissioner” is a non-voting member of US Congress.   They can attend committee hearings and introduce legislation. They can’t vote on any bills, not even their own…but in restless hands, the position can be a US Treasury printing press. Pedro Pierluisi printed early and often.

He knew that oil companies have kicked back hundreds of millions of dollars to Puerto Rico politicians. So if Pierluisi could, single-handedly, shut out those oil companies and make liquid natural gas (LNG) the principal energy source for PREPA, the LNG industry would make him as rich as Croesus.

As far back as 2013, with Orwellian suavete, Pedro Pierluisi was pushing Jones Act “reform” bills for the LNG industry…but this “reform” was actually a Jones Act scam: keeping nearly every portion of Jones firmly planted on Puerto Rico’s neck, while using it to carve a surgically precise monopoly for his LNG sponsors and their chartered ships.

Feverishly, he arranged congressional hearings (“This is the sixth hearing in the past 11 months!” he reminded everyone) with one obsessive purpose: to make Liquefied Natural Gas the fuel for all of PREPA.

Year after year he announced that: 

“PREPA must switch from a heavy reliance on petroleum fuel to a greater dependence on… domestic Liquefied Natural Gas (LNG) from the U.S. Gulf.”

He also demanded that:

Congress should enact my legislation, the Puerto Rico Interstate Commerce Improvement Act, in order to increase the number of maritime vessels authorized to transport LNG and liquified petroleum gas (LPG) from ports in the U.S. mainland to ports in Puerto Rico.”

On January 12, 2016, at a hearing before the House Committee on Natural Resources, Pierluisi supported “the creation of a board to help the Puerto Rican government improve its fiscal practices” and then again, ad nauseam, he reminded the congressmembers that they “should enact my legislation to increase the number of ships qualified to transport LNG from the states to Puerto Rico.”

But hey…wait a minute…

Isn’t LNG largely obtained by fracking, with severe environmental consequences? Such as methane and nitrogen oxide emissions, extreme global warming, and requiring 1.5 million gallons of water per well?

And don’t those millions of gallons become toxic “frack fluid,” which gets poured back into the water supply?

Isn’t Puerto Rico desperately trying to end its energy dependence on foreign, overpriced, and toxic fossil fuels?

This did not matter to Pierluisi. He sailed on like Captain Ahab, obsessed with his mission, eyes glued to the great white whale of LNG…and the vast fortune it would disgorge upon him.

Fast forward several years.

Today, Pierluisi is the Governor of Puerto Rico and PREPA is building three new LNG import terminals in San Juan, Mayaguez and Yabucoa.

Today, when PREPA releases any RFPs for fuel options, one of those options must always be LNG.

Today, PREPA expects LNG to provide 45-50% of all their power generation within five years. Its recent CEO, Jose Ortiz, touted LNG as “the best, cleanest option to cure PREPA’s over-dependence on oil.” His successor, interim CEO Efran Paredes-Maisonet, espouses the same view. Simply stated: Gov. Pierluisi, CEO Ortiz, and interim CEO Paredes-Maisonet are planning to replace diesel with LNG, throughout the entire energy grid of Puerto Rico.

Over the next few days, I will detail how Gov. Pierluisi is enslaving the entire island for generations to come.

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For a history of the War Against All Puerto Ricans, read the book…

5 Comments on “How Puerto Rico is Being Enslaved: Part I

  1. Is PREPA Bringing a Stale Baloney Sandwich to a Gourmet Buffet?

    During periods of major disruption: confusion and chaos often obscure reality, vision, cause & effect, and clarity of thought. With Hurricane Maria, bankruptcy, global warming, governmental disintegration, and the pandemic – just to name a few – it’s not surprising that Puerto Rico has also been suffering from encumbered decision making from antiquated leadership.

    With the FEMA promise of billions of dollars to reconstruct all aspects of the generation, transmission, and distribution system, one would think those concerned about the future economic viability of our island would want to create a contemporary grid and an efficient, cost effective, state of the art generation system. Renewables are not only part of our short to long-term mandates (40% of our electricity from renewable resources by 2025, 60% by 2040, and 100% by 2050), but they make tremendous economic sense in many locations. In Puerto Rico, wind and solar are very reliable, cheaper in the short run, and much, much, more economical in the long run.

    Despite claims by the oil and gas industry to the contrary, Caribbean based systems can be sized with arrays and battery banks that can handle any typical scenario of low wind and/or clouds. And they can be widely distributed for efficiency and resiliency. Existing gas and oil systems can be kept for backup in the short run, but spending good money on adding new fossil fuel systems is attaching our lifeline to a boat anchor. In a very few years, these assets will be stranded – economically obsolete – and the money paid for them (that could have gone into renewables) will be lost forever. See this well-regarded study by the Rocky Mountain Institute: https://rmi.org/wp-content/uploads/2019/09/clean-energy-portfolio-two-pager.pdf

    Climate change and socially responsible investment (SRI) strategies are the public pronouncements of the investment and finance industries, but the real reason that the we see big oil tanking is the realization that the oil industry is in rapid decline due to the hands-down ascension of the solar/wind/battery power paradigm. Non-renewable assets will soon be stranded, and investment write-downs inevitable.

    This generous buffet of billions is paid for by FEMA, do we really want to squander it on a stale baloney sandwich-based future?

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  2. Pedro Pierluisi es un típico representante de la élite colonial.

    Like

  3. aye professor , it’s good to see that your still
    in the fight , all is fairly wel
    in this time of mad emperors
    and asian bugs , take care
    and be you , your spiritual
    brother Sonny

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Hi, my dear friend!! It’s always good to see you here. I’ve missed you!! As always, thanks for bringing this info to the forefront. I deeply appreciate it and, as always, follow you! Tight Boricua hug!! Stay safe!! … 🙂

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  5. sadly another maggot shows its true colors
    another name to add to long list of slime
    that should go to the wall

    Liked by 1 person

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