In 2019, with much fanfare, the government of Puerto Rico enacted a law which committed the island to 100 percent renewable energy by 2050. The press emphasized that the system would rely on solar arrays powering distributed microgrids, so that if infrastructure went out on one part of the island (especially during a hurricane) it wouldn’t impact other areas.
But now in 2021, this “commitment” is all smoke and mirrors: with Gov. Pierluisi building a Liquid Natural Gas (LNG) infrastructure for PREPA which locks in a centralized power grid and forced consumption of LNG for decades to come. His plan is already being implemented with three LNG processing plants – built seemingly overnight – in San Juan (the Cabo Seco plant), Mayaguez and Yabucoa.
This “bait and switch” is nothing new in Puerto Rico. In December 2017, the Puerto Rico legislature introduced this bill to shift 50 percent of the island’s power to renewable energy by 2050:
But the very next month, in January 2018, then-Gov. Ricky Roselló announced that PREPA (the Puerto Rico Electric Power Authority) would be privatized. This move, combined with “financial management” from the Financial Control Board, ended the island’s “shift” to renewable energy.
Puerto Rico’s power grid is managed by PREPA and fueled by foreign oil. This bears repetition: all of the electricity in Puerto Rico is generated by imported foreign oil, coal and LNG.
The island has no oil reserves of its own, so residents are utterly dependent on foreign oil, coal and LNG…to light their highways; run their water reservoirs; re-charge their computers; power their homes, stores, churches, office buildings, supermarkets, shopping malls, factories, schools, hospitals, refrigerators, air conditioners, and electric-powered cars.
As of 2020, the proportions are as follows: 49.5% petroleum, 29% LNG, 19% coal, and 2.5% renewable energy.
See for yourself: https://www.eia.gov/state/analysis.php?sid=RQ
I’ll say it yet AGAIN…currently in Puerto Rico, ALL of their electricity depends on imported oil, coal and/or LNG. For this reason, the development of alternative power sources (sun, wind, water) would not only generate energy for Puerto Ricans.
It would begin to generate their independence.
They would no longer depend on the outside world for all their energy needs.
The people of Puerto Rico are aware of this. Over the past four years, in the aftermath of Hurricane Maria and a six-month island-wide electrical blackout, there has been a groundswell of support to phase out PREPA and phase in the development of cheaper, more reliable alternative energy sources. This is quite feasible: since wind, sun, and ocean water surround Puerto Rico on all sides!
And so, Gov. Pierluisi has a historic opportunity and a personal choice: between the future of his people, and the future of his personal finances. Worldwide, the price of renewable energy (sun, wind, water) will soon drop. But Puerto Rico does not have the resources to build out one island-wide energy grid, and then replace it with another one just a few years later. If Pierluisi continues his aggressive “shock capitalism” and rams LNG down Puerto Rico’s throat, he will imprison the island into an LNG economy, and doom it to decades of fossil-fuel slavery.
The true independence of Puerto Rico – if it is ever to exist – can only begin with this one thing: Gov. Pedro Pierluisi must abandon his drive to become a billionaire, by enslaving Puerto Rico to LNG.
He needs to resign himself to being a mere millionaire…
and allow the sun, the air, and the waters of Puerto Rico, to power the island.
For a history of the War Against All Puerto Ricans, read the book…