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#The Atlantic 2016 (Don’t Blame Trump): Puerto Rico’s Disaster Started Years before Hurricanes Maria & Irma

Posted by FactReal on September 14, 2018

PUERTO RICO WAS IN CRISIS LONG BEFORE THE 2017 HURRICANES…and before Trump became President

In May 2016, the left-wing publication The Atlantic sounded the alarm of the impending humanitarian crisis in Puerto Rico…over a year before Hurricane Maria hit the island. Their article was titled “Will Puerto Rico’s Debt Crisis Spark a Humanitarian Disaster?”[1].

Summary by Bradley Blakeman at The Hill[2]:

In May 2016, just more than a year before Hurricane Maria struck Puerto Rico, the Atlantic published an article alleging that even without damages caused by hurricanes or storms Puerto Rico was heading for crisis with a huge human toll of man-made causes. Reporter Vann Newkirk cited the electric grid on the brink of collapse and schools with dangerous wiring and unstable construction. He also wrote about the island’s public health and its inferior healthcare facilities, noting that San Juan’s Centro Medico Hospital had to delay payments on debt to provide basic healthcare to patients. The medical director was quoted as saying, “We are hanging by a thread.”

It is important to understand that Puerto Rico was destined for humanitarian crisis and was in crisis long before Hurricane Maria.

FactReal’s Summary:
In May 2016, The Atlantic[1] described the precarious situation in Puerto Rico while covering the visit to the island by Obama’s Treasury Secretary Jacob Lew.
At the San Juan’s Centro Medico hospital:

  • Administrators detailed both delayed funding from insurers and government sources, and how the hospital had to delay and prioritize payments to provide basic care for its patients. “We are hanging by a thread,” said Dr. Juan Nazario, executive director of the hospital. “Other things are left aside.”
  • It is difficult to remain solvent while providing affordable care for poorer populations.
  • Most of Puerto Rico’s residents are enrolled in Medicaid or other public insurance programs.
  • The Puerto Rican government is limited in its ability to pay for services and drugs that insurers don’t pick up or don’t pay for on time. These medical problems are compounded by the fact that the debt crisis itself is centered on Puerto Rico’s massive public-services providers, and as things have gotten worse, many hospitals have faced electricity or water shortages. Even the massive Centro Medico may not be safe from rolling blackouts if the territory continues to default.
  • The hospital’s youngest victims are suffering now… Dr. Marta Suarez, a pediatric nephrologist, explained how the hospital’s payment difficulties make it difficult to provide dialysis to combat neonatal kidney failure, a common danger of early infancy. “Suppliers have been waiting for payments for months and months,” she told Lew. “We hope we don’t get a complicated case.”
  • Zika threatens to cripple Puerto Rico, and the debt crisis and its inability to pay for immediate interventions are direct factors in the looming epidemic.
  • Hospitals are already overwhelmed with the different issues that Centro Medico physicians detailed, and they can barely cope with seasonal flu outbreaks, let alone a developing and little-known virus like Zika.
  • Schools such as Eleanor Roosevelt, with their crumbling infrastructure and pools of standing water, are ideal breeding grounds for the mosquitoes that spread Zika, and children are especially vulnerable targets. In the realms of health care and education, economic woes are most directly transfigured into human misery.

At the Eleanor Roosevelt Elementary:

  • Classroom had only one electrical outlet. Trying to run multiple devices––such as a television, air conditioner, or a fan––would trip the breaker. If multiple classrooms try using electricity together would cause the whole building’s power to fail.
  • Cracks in the wall.
  • Broken fans in the room.
  • Lack of basic science resources.
  • Some special-education services are delivered in a trailer with limited electricity.
  • Enrollment for special-needs children has increased, even while teachers equipped to instruct them have moved away.
  • School with its termite-riddled walls, tenuous electricity, and pools of standing water––perfect places for the mosquitoes that spread Zika to hide

Part of The Atlantic article of May 2016[1]: [Emphasis added]

Will Puerto Rico’s Debt Crisis Spark a Humanitarian Disaster?
Treasury Secretary Jacob Lew’s trip to Puerto Rico highlights the human costs lurking behind every financial crisis.

VANN R. NEWKIRK II
MAY 13, 2016

SAN JUAN, Puerto Rico –– Elizabeth Claudio pointed to the lone outlet in the wall of her classroom of fourth graders. She complained to [then] Puerto Rico Governor Alejandro García Padilla that it was the class’s only outlet and that running multiple devices––such as a television, air conditioner, or a fan––would trip the breaker and that multiple classrooms using electricity together would cause the whole building’s power to fail. She pointed to the cracks in the wall and the broken fans in the room, which already sweltered in early May as the humidity settled in like a blanket over an 83-degree day.

[Obama’s] Treasury Secretary Jacob Lew…was here to assess just what might happen if Puerto Rico’s debt crisis blooms into a full-on disaster.

The debt crisis in Puerto Rico has been discussed mostly in terms of its dire economic outlook, with wide-reaching consequences from potential defaults, including destabilized municipal-bond markets and litigation. The fallout could spread to the mainland, and it has already impacted the economy of states like Florida as a factor in mass emigration. […]

…García Padilla [had] no choice but to default on a $200 million payment of debts on May 2. That default has already weakened public services and utilities on the island, and another payment date of July 1 is even more ominous, with almost $2 billion at stake. […]

Unfortunately for the people of Puerto Rico, the debt crisis is just part of a long string of bad news. The commonwealth was poor long before the debt crisis, poorer than every state in both the 2000 and 2010 censuses. Despite historically and currently having high rates of coverage by public insurance, Puerto Rico sits near the bottom of many health metrics, and its Medicaid and Medicare programs are vastly underfunded compared with the States, costing the island millions of dollars. Healthy young people are emigrating from Puerto Rico in search of jobs, leaving behind disabled people, elderly people, and children. But the worst is yet to come. If things have been downhill recently, the potential July default represents a steep drop into a wide chasm, one that could have reverberating effects on how people on the island live.

[At the Eleanor Roosevelt Elementary,] Deborah Cruz teaches fourth, fifth, and sixth graders in one room and told Lew about the cracked walls and lack of basic science resources, such as test tubes. Special-education teacher Iris Rosario said there are almost 100 students who need special-education services at Eleanor Roosevelt, and some special-education services are delivered in a trailer with limited electricity. Rosario also described how enrollment for special-needs children has increased, even while teachers equipped to instruct them have moved away.

Eleanor Roosevelt Elementary is not an abstract idea in a debate between congresspersons across the Caribbean Sea, nor is it some far-off disaster in the making. The school, with its termite-riddled walls, tenuous electricity, and pools of standing water––perfect places for the mosquitoes that spread Zika to hide––is a real, current example of the humanitarian implications of Puerto Rico’s crumbling economy. “The human cost is not abstract,” Lew said after the visit. “At the school, we could see infrastructure that’s crumbling.”

Lew’s next visit to San Juan’s Centro Medico hospital laid bare the human costs even more. Administrators detailed both delayed funding from insurers and government sources, and how the hospital had to delay and prioritize payments to provide basic care for its patients. “We are hanging by a thread,” said Dr. Juan Nazario, executive director of the hospital. “Other things are left aside.”

Centro Medico’s plight is similar to those of many vulnerable safety-net hospitals on the mainland—but amplified. Simply put, it is difficult to remain solvent while providing affordable care for poorer populations and people of color, who tend to be the sickest and the least likely to have insurance. That problem becomes a predicament in itself in an entire commonwealth with so many poor people and people of color. While most of Puerto Rico’s residents are enrolled in Medicaid or other public insurance programs, the federal government has traditionally underpaid for each Puerto Rican enrollee as compared with those living in the States.

[T]he Puerto Rican government is limited in its ability to pay for services and drugs that insurers don’t pick up or don’t pay for on time. These medical problems are compounded by the fact that the debt crisis itself is centered on Puerto Rico’s massive public-services providers, and as things have gotten worse, many hospitals have faced electricity or water shortages. Even the massive Centro Medico may not be safe from rolling blackouts if the territory continues to default.

Even before any future potential defaults, the hospital’s youngest victims are suffering now… Dr. Marta Suarez, a pediatric nephrologist, explained how the hospital’s payment difficulties make it difficult to provide dialysis to combat neonatal kidney failure, a common danger of early infancy. “Suppliers have been waiting for payments for months and months,” she told Lew. “We hope we don’t get a complicated case.” … After his tour of Centro Medico, Lew [said] “The mounting debt crisis is clearly a financing problem …[and] it’s a human crisis as well.”

Zika threatens to cripple Puerto Rico, and the debt crisis and its inability to pay for immediate interventions are direct factors in the looming epidemic. Hospitals are already overwhelmed with the different issues that Centro Medico physicians detailed, and they can barely cope with seasonal flu outbreaks, let alone a developing and little-known virus like Zika. Schools such as Eleanor Roosevelt, with their crumbling infrastructure and pools of standing water, are ideal breeding grounds for the mosquitoes that spread Zika, and children are especially vulnerable targets. In the realms of health care and education, economic woes are most directly transfigured into human misery.

SOURCES:
[1] The Atlantic: Will Puerto Rico’s Debt Crisis Spark a Humanitarian Disaster? (MAY 13, 2016)
#https://www.theatlantic.com/politics/archive/2016/05/puerto-rico-treasury-visit/482562/
[2] The Hill: Puerto Rico was a disaster long before Maria ravaged the island (10/03/17)
#http://thehill.com/opinion/energy-environment/353506-puerto-rico-was-a-disaster-long-before-maria-ravaged-the-island

RELATED:
ABC NEWS 2017 (Trump is Right): Puerto Rico Power Grid Falling Apart before Maria Hit
REUTERS 2017 (Trump is Right): The Bankrupt Utility behind Puerto Rico’s Power Crisis … before Hurricane Maria
WASHINGTON POST 2017 (Trump is Right): Hurricane Maria’s Blow to Puerto Rico’s Bankrupt Utility and Fragile Electric Grid
LA TIMES 2017 (Trump is Right): Puerto Rico’s Power Grid on Life Support long before the 2017 Hurricanes
CNBC 2015 (Trump is Right): Infrastructure: Another problem Puerto Rico doesn’t need

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*CNBC 2015 (Trump is Right): Infrastructure: Another problem Puerto Rico doesn’t need

Posted by FactReal on September 13, 2018

In 2015, two years before Hurricanes Maria and Irma, CNBC discussed how the precarious state of the Puerto Rican infrastructure and utilities stemmed from lack of maintenance and poor management (high costs, massive debts). That is what President Trump has been talking about.

Here is part of the 2015 CNBC report[1]: [Emphasis added]

Infrastructure: Another problem Puerto Rico doesn’t need
Fred Imbert
Published 11:11 AM ET Mon, 3 Aug 2015 Updated 1:47 PM ET Mon, 3 Aug 2015

Puerto Rico, already hobbled by massive debts, is being weighed down by an outdated infrastructure that’s increasing the cost of doing business on the island.

According to Numbeo, a database of user-contributed information on consumer prices and other statistics, the average monthly cost for utilities in Puerto Rico is $234.81, considerably higher than the overall U.S. average of $159.21.

“The real problem here is the lack of maintenance of our infrastructure,” said Heidie Calero, president and CEO of H. Calero Consulting Group, a San Juan-based firm that works on business and economic issues.

[…]

Nevertheless, Puerto Rico faces challenges with regard to its electric and water utilities that other U.S. jurisdictions don’t face, while at the same time dealing with approximately $72 billion in debts.

According to the Energy Information Administration, about 55 percent of Puerto Rico’s electricity came from petroleum in 2013, making the delivery of power considerably more expensive than if it came from coal (where most of U.S. electricity comes from) or natural gas.

“High world-petroleum prices have driven typical Puerto Rico power prices to two to three times the U.S. average,” the EIA said.

The Puerto Rico Electric Power Authority [PREPA] is …$9 billion in debt and the island’s struggling economy have led it to consider ways to reduce costs.

SOURCE:
[1] CNBC: Infrastructure: Another problem Puerto Rico doesn’t need (Aug. 3, 2015)
#https://www.cnbc.com/2015/08/03/infrastructure-another-problem-puerto-rico-doesnt-need.html

RELATED:
ABC NEWS 2017 (Trump is Right): Puerto Rico Power Grid Falling Apart before Maria Hit
REUTERS 2017 (Trump is Right): The Bankrupt Utility behind Puerto Rico’s Power Crisis … before Hurricane Maria
WASHINGTON POST 2017 (Trump is Right): Hurricane Maria’s Blow to Puerto Rico’s Bankrupt Utility and Fragile Electric Grid
LA TIMES 2017 (Trump is Right): Puerto Rico’s Power Grid on Life Support long before the 2017 Hurricanes

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*LA TIMES 2017 (Trump is Right): Puerto Rico’s Power Grid on Life Support long before the 2017 Hurricanes

Posted by FactReal on September 13, 2018

A 2017 Los Angeles Times[1] report provides evidence to Trump’s comments that Puerto Rico’s power grid was “poorly maintained, corruptly managed.”

The island’s faltering electrical grid, now crippled by the twin blows of Hurricane Maria and Hurricane Irma, already was struggling to keep the lights on after a history of poor maintenance, poorly trained staff, allegations of corruption and crushing debt.

As recently as 2016, the island suffered a three-day, island-wide blackout as a result of a fire. A private energy consultant noted then that the Puerto Rico Electric Power Authority “appears to be running on fumes, and … desperately requires an infusion of capital — monetary, human and intellectual — to restore a functional utility.”

Puerto Ricans in early 2016 were suffering power outages at rates four to five times higher than average U.S. customers, said the report from the Massachusetts-based Synapse Energy Economics. […]

Restoring Puerto Rico’s power will involve much more than replacing downed poles and cables. The entire system of generation, transmission and distribution must be rebuilt, including replacement of high-voltage transmission lines Hyland said.

[…]

The warnings about impending electricity problems that were issued even before Hurricane Maria hit stemmed from the island’s long history of power outages and the lack of substantial refurbishing and maintenance.

Hurricane Georges in 1998 left the island without power for three weeks. The tropical storm destroyed 30,000 houses and damaged at least another 60,000.

[…]

Problems accumulated. Cutbacks in tree pruning left the 16,000 miles of primary power lines spread across the island vulnerable. Inspections, maintenance and repairs were scaled back. Up to 30% of the utility’s employees retired or migrated to the U.S. mainland, analysts said, and the utility had trouble hiring experienced employees to replace them.

…continue reading:
LA Times: Puerto Rico’s power grid on life support long before Hurricane Maria – report 9/28/2017

SOURCE:
[1] Puerto Rico’s debt-plagued power grid was on life support long before hurricanes wiped it out (September 28, 2017)
#http://www.latimes.com/nation/la-na-puerto-rico-power-20170925-story.html

RELATED:
Reuters 2017 (Trump is Right): The Bankrupt Utility behind Puerto Rico’s Power Crisis … before Hurricane Maria
ABC NEWS 2017 (Trump is Right): Puerto Rico Power Grid Falling Apart before Maria Hit
Washington Post 2017 (Trump is Right): Hurricane Maria’s Blow to Puerto Rico’s Bankrupt Utility and Fragile Electric Grid

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*Washington Post 2017 (Trump is Right): Hurricane Maria’s Blow to Puerto Rico’s Bankrupt Utility and Fragile Electric Grid

Posted by FactReal on September 13, 2018

In September 2017, the Washington Post reported on Puerto Rico’s bankrupt utility company, old power plants, poor maintenance, exodus of skilled labor and its fragile electric grid…long before the 2017 hurricanes.

Here are some highlights of their report[1]:

Hurricane Maria has dealt a new blow to Puerto Rico’s bankrupt electric company — knocking out power for the entire island and imposing costly repair burdens on a utility that was already struggling with more than $9 billion in debt, poor service and sky-high rates.

[…]

Even before it was hit by Irma and now Maria, the Puerto Rico Electric Power Authority [PREPA] said it needed more than $4 billion to overhaul its outdated power plants and reduce its heavy reliance on imported oil. The company filed, in effect, for bankruptcy July 2.

[…]

The utility’s struggles are a key part of the commonwealth’s struggles to restructure about $74 billion in debts, overhaul its economy and stem the outflow of Puerto Rican citizens to the U.S. mainland.

[…]

….The median age of PREPA’s power plants is more than 40 years old.

[…]

PREPA has also lost 30 percent of its employees since 2012 due to steady migration out of the commonwealth and retirements. The areas hit hardest have been skilled jobs, including the linemen needed to repair transmission lines.

[….]

The utility has a poor safety record. An explosion last year knocked out power in many places for four days. Newspapers run photos of poor maintenance, rusting control panels and outmoded controls.

…continue reading:
WAPO 2017: Puerto Rico’s bankrupt utility and fragile electric grid before Hurricane Maria – report 9/20/2017

SOURCES:
[1] Hurricane Maria has dealt a heavy blow to Puerto Rico’s bankrupt utility and fragile electric grid
#https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/energy-environment/wp/2017/09/20/puerto-ricos-power-company-was-already-bankrupt-then-hurricane-maria-hit/?utm_term=.d1ac8058ff23

RELATED:
REUTERS 2017 (Trump is Right): The Bankrupt Utility behind Puerto Rico’s Power Crisis … before Hurricane Maria
ABC NEWS 2017 (Trump is Right): Puerto Rico Power Grid Falling Apart before Maria Hit
LA TIMES 2017 (Trump is Right): Puerto Rico’s Power Grid on Life Support long before the 2017 Hurricanes

Posted in Energy, Puerto Rico, Trump | Tagged: , , , , | Leave a Comment »

*Reuters 2017 (Trump is Right): The Bankrupt Utility behind Puerto Rico’s Power Crisis … before Hurricane Maria

Posted by FactReal on September 13, 2018

In October 2017, Reuters reported on the chronic problems at Puerto Rico’s electric company, PREPA, which “left the island’s electric grid vulnerable to collapse in a major storm.”

This 2017 Reuters report substantiates Trump’s comments that Puerto Rico’s power grid was “poorly maintained, corruptly managed” before being hit by Hurricanes Maria and Irma.

Here is part of Reuters report [1]: [Emphasis added]

Special Report: The bankrupt utility behind Puerto Rico’s power crisis
Nick Brown, Robin Respaut, Jessica Resnick-Ault
SPECIAL REPORTS OCTOBER 4, 2017 / 12:11 PM

SALINAS, Puerto Rico/NEW YORK (Reuters) – In the rural village of Salinas in southern Puerto Rico, frayed electric lines hanging from a utility pole blew in the breeze last week near the town square.

But the damage didn’t come from Hurricane Maria.

“Those wires were actually there before,” said Fermin Seda, 68, a Salinas resident who said he has grown accustomed to downed lines and power outages.

[…]

Restoring the grid after the worst storm to hit here in nine decades would be a monumental task even for a well-run utility. It will be much harder for the chronically underfunded Puerto Rico Electric Power Authority (PREPA), which went bankrupt in July amid mounting maintenance problems, years-long battles with creditors, a shrinking workforce and frequent management turnover.

[…]

“If you have an old grid susceptible to collapse, there is no way – until you change it completely – that it can sustain the winds of a Category 4, or even really a Category 2,” the governor [Ricardo Rossello] said.

CHRONIC WEAKNESSES

A host of chronic problems at PREPA left the island’s electric grid vulnerable to collapse in a major storm, Reuters found. They include:

* Frequent turnover in management and board leadership, which has long failed to prioritize grid maintenance, according to reports prepared in 2015 and 2016 for utility regulators by the consultancy Synapse Energy Associates. The deferred upkeep, according to a PREPA assessment in April, led to a “degraded and unsafe” grid that needed at least $4 billion for modernization of an “isolated system, in challenging terrain” that is “subject to natural atmospheric events.”

* Falling revenues that failed to cover operating expenses because of poor collection of utility bills and declining energy sales through a decade-long recession.

* A lack of regulatory oversight prior to 2014, and a rough transition of power from former utility board members and officials to a new energy commission created that year by legislation, with little handoff of disaster-preparedness plans.

* A staff diminished from 8,628 workers in 2012 to 6,042 this year, according to the April PREPA report. The talent drain reflects a larger exodus of residents from Puerto Rico – especially skilled workers – as the U.S. territory lost 300,000 people, or 8 percent of its populace, between 2010 and 2016, according to U.S. Census data.

Ricardo Ramos, who took over as the utility’s chief executive in March, told Reuters that the number of employee departures over the past five years is actually closer to 4,000 – with the vast majority being key operational workers such as linemen, power plant operators and mechanics.

They were exactly the kind of workers the utility couldn’t afford to lose.

“PREPA did not invest in new power plants or new generation, so our power plants are very, very old; our distribution system is very, very old,” Ramos said in an interview on Monday. […]

Citizens of Puerto Rico do not receive services equal to U.S. states but also do not pay federal income tax. […]

The lengthy electrical outages are a bitter pill for storm victims, who before Maria had already endured frequent service interruptions and rates higher than any U.S. state except Hawaii, according to PREPA and the U.S. Energy Department. […]

[…]

On the south side of Puerto Rico, near most of the island’s power plants, broken wires and blackouts were common before Maria. […]

The amount of time power plants were down due to unplanned outages, measured in megawatt hours, more than doubled between mid-2015 and mid-2016, according to Synapse, the consultant firm.

By summer 2016, residents were experiencing four to five times the number of outages as the average U.S. customer, the consultants wrote.

The system’s deficiencies were laid bare in September 2016, when a transformer fire knocked out half of the island’s power, which wasn’t fully restored for nearly a week, forcing the governor to declare a state of emergency.

“Basically it was what you can call an unfortunate set of events, but really it is what I have said since I began at PREPA: lack of maintenance,” Ramos said.

One of the biggest factors in the outages: a constantly shrinking staff, driven away by costly medical benefits and unsafe conditions. The utility’s April report notes PREPA had a greater-than-average number of safety incidents for U.S. utilities, with more than 14,000 accidents and 15 fatalities in a 10-year period.

SOURCE:
[1] Reuters Special Report: The bankrupt utility behind Puerto Rico’s power crisis
#https://www.reuters.com/article/us-usa-puertorico-utility-specialreport/special-report-the-bankrupt-utility-behind-puerto-ricos-power-crisis-idUSKBN1C92B5

RELATED:
ABC NEWS 2017 (Trump is Right): Puerto Rico Power Grid Falling Apart before Maria Hit
Washington Post 2017 (Trump is Right): Hurricane Maria’s Blow to Puerto Rico’s Bankrupt Utility and Fragile Electric Grid
LA TIMES 2017 (Trump is Right): Puerto Rico’s Power Grid on Life Support long before the 2017 Hurricanes

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*ABC NEWS 2017 (Trump is Right): Puerto Rico Power Grid Falling Apart before Maria Hit

Posted by FactReal on September 13, 2018

In October 2017, ABC News agreed with President Trump that the electricity problems in Puerto Rico started long before the 2017 hurricanes.

Here is part of ABC News article[1]: [Emphasis added]

PUERTO RICO WARNED POWER GRID ‘LITERALLY FALLING APART’ BEFORE MARIA HIT
By ERIN DOOLEY Oct 18, 2017, 4:31 PM ET

[President Trump] has repeatedly blamed some of the devastation on the island’s outdated power grid, which was “poorly maintained, corruptly managed,” and “wasn’t in good shape to start off with.” […]

And while some may criticize his seeming willingness to dismiss the island’s humanitarian crisis, there is evidence to back up his [Trump’s] comments about the commonwealth’s ailing power grid.

Just 10 months before Maria struck, a scathing report commissioned by the Puerto Rican Electrical Power Authority (PREPA) warned that the energy infrastructure was facing a “crisis.”

The 218-page study[2], released by Synapse Energy Associates in November 2016, argued that Puerto Rico’s power grid is “literally falling apart,” and noted that Perto Ricans [sic] suffer service outages at rates four to five times higher average U.S. utilities customers.

The group blamed the situation on inadequate maintenance of infrastructure, loss of competent staff, and “a myopic management focus on large risky bets.

According to Sergio Marxuach, Policy Director at the non-partisan Center for a New Economy, simple tasks, like pruning the trees that toppled lines during the storm, were postponed due to PREPA’s budget woes. The company was so short of cash that it had filed for bankruptcy before Maria hit.[…]

“The lack of maintenance possibly magnified the damage to the grid that the hurricane created here,” he added. “If that work had been done, perhaps the damage in some areas would not have been as bad.”

PREPA — a virtual monopoly led by political appointees, whom Marxauch says are generally “averse to change” — relies on outdated technology, says the report.

The average generation plant on the island is around 44 years old, “significantly older” than the average plant in the continental U.S. About 70 percent of the generators rely on oil, rather than fuels favored by the mainland, like natural gas, Marxuach said. And unlike states in the lower 48, Puerto Rico can’t use an emergency line from a neighboring grid to borrow power during an outage.

Last fall, less than a year before the Maria hit, a power plant fire sparked a massive blackout that lasted nearly three days, leaving most of the island’s sweltering residents without power or water services for around 60 hours.

“It is difficult to overstate the level of disrepair or operational neglect” at PREPA facilities, the Synapse report said. “PREPA’s system today appears to be running on fumes.”

(Hat tip: QuickNewsVault)

SOURCES:
[1] ABC News: Puerto Rico warned power grid ‘literally falling apart’ before Maria hit (Oct 18, 2017)
#https://abcnews.go.com/US/puerto-rico-warned-power-grid-literally-falling-maria/story?id=50560446
[2] Study:The 218-page study by Synapse Energy Associates (released in November 2016)
#energia.pr.gov/wp-content/uploads/2016/11/Expert-Report-Revenue-Requirements-Fisher-and-Horowitz-Revised-20161123.pdf

RELATED:
REUTERS 2017 (Trump is Right): The Bankrupt Utility behind Puerto Rico’s Power Crisis … before Hurricane Maria
WASHINGTON POST 2017 (Trump is Right): Hurricane Maria’s Blow to Puerto Rico’s Bankrupt Utility and Fragile Electric Grid
LA TIMES 2017 (Trump is Right): Puerto Rico’s Power Grid on Life Support long before the 2017 Hurricanes

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