Puerto Rico Manufacturers Association calls for special session to address energy policy
SAN JUAN – The Puerto Rico Manufacturers Association (PRMA) called on the legislature to immediately convene a special session for the Senate-passed energy framework to also be passed by the House of Representatives.
“We exhort the Governor, Hon. Ricardo Rosselló Nevares, to convene an extraordinary session of the Legislature, including as part of its agenda Senate Bill 1121, which proposes a new energy regulatory framework to govern the transfer of assets and concessions of the Electric Power Authority [Prepa] and to include other public energy policy criteria that allow transforming, modernizing and making our electrical system more efficient,” PRMA President Rodrigo Masses said in a statement.
The bill would require the government to eliminate fossil fuel sources and use 100 percent renewable energy by 2050. In addition, it would empower the Energy Commission to regulate the sector and eliminate Prepa’s monopoly.
Masses stressed that S.B. 1121 is the product of a legislative process, led by Senate Vice President Larry Seilhamer and Minority Speaker Eduardo Bhatia, “where there was broad participation of the various business, professional, union, civic and governmental sectors,” the PRMA said.
“Puerto Rico deserves to have already adopted the regulatory framework that will delimit and guide every PREPA asset-transfer process, to have the certainty, confidence and security that said process will reflect the…public interest of achieving an efficient, safe, stable system, responsive to the needs and challenges of the different residential, industrial, commercial sectors and citizens in general,” Masses added.
The House postponed its vote on the measure after claiming it needed time to evaluate it thoroughly.
“We do not think waiting for the next ordinary session is the most appropriate while Act 120 allows the transfer of assets under the current state of law, which does not provide the standards, criteria and a robust and adequate regulatory framework so said process fosters the economic development Puerto Rico deserves and demands,” Masses continued.
The PRMA said it has been meeting with House Economic Development Committee Chairman Víctor Parés and his technical team, and that it is sure the House lawmakers and Speaker Carlos “Johnny” Méndez would address the measure “in a thorough, diligent manner and with the sense of this matter’s urgency, if an extraordinary session were convened” to consider it.
“We trust that the Governor can consider this recommendation favorably, and that under the leadership of Engineer José Ortiz at the head of PREPA and the Governor’s team, the transformation of the electric system can be directed under an advanced regulatory framework, worked on in an exemplary manner by the Legislative Assembly of Puerto Rico and the majority and minority leadership,” Masses concluded.