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