This week the power finally turned back on in Puerto Rico homes, schools, and public businesses. However, it was no thanks to the dishonesty and lack of ability of their very own government on the island. Now federal government officials have discovered that “a massive store of rebuilding materials” is necessary to repair the electrical grid in Puerto Rico, and was being stashed away by the Puerto Rico Electric Power Authority.
After over 100 days without electricity due to the Hurricane Maria devastation on the island, Puerto Ricans are able to breath a sigh of relief.
The Puerto Rico Electric Power Authority company is a state-owned business conducted by the territory’s government on the island. On January 6th, equipped with the details, federal agents raided PREPA’s warehouse with a security detail. Afterwards they “began distributing (supplies) to contractors,” confirmed USACE spokesman Luciano Vera.
According to conservativetribune:
“Among the materials recovered so far are ‘2,875 pieces of critical material to contractors’ along with the sleeves of full-tension steel, a component of Puerto Rican electrical infrastructure required to erect new power lines,” The Intercept reported, quoting Vera.
This encounter reportedly occurred as around 50 percent of Puerto Ricans still remained without electricity.
Now fast forward to Wednesday, when power finally began to flow in the Academia Bautista de Puerto Nuevo in San Juan, spurring cries of joy from teachers and students alike.
Teachers and students at a school in Puerto Rico jump for joy after the school gets electricity back for the first time in the 112 days since Hurricane Maria struck. https://t.co/3wCH5JEpP3 pic.twitter.com/2PTDb4kHtp
— Good Morning America (@GMA) January 17, 2018
The Washington Examiner further notes that by Wednesday, “83 percent of the Puerto Rico Electric Power Authority customers (had) power.”
Talk about a big improvement — and again, no thanks to the local government’s extraordinary incompetence.
But it gets worse. The Intercept pointed out that even “(a)s PREPA hoards crucial resources that could help remedy the island’s dire situation,” Puerto Rico’s government “is attempting to annihilate the power provider’s only regulator.”
“When the current administration was in the opposition, they opposed all the energy reform bills,” said former Puerto Rico state Sen. Ramón Luis Nieves, referring to the so-called New Progressive Party.
“Now that they are in power, they have been trying to eliminate the energy regulator and the reforms that were passed.”
Here’s another interesting tidbit of information: Because of PREPA’s hoarding, some mayors tried “taking matters into their own hands, reportedly buying grid restoration supplies out of municipal budgets,” according to The Intercept.
That sounds like a local elected official using personal initiative to get something accomplished in the face of a system that’s completely dysfunctional.
Not surprisingly, that list didn’t include San Juan Mayor Carmen Yulín Cruz, who’s made it her personal mission to waste valuable time and resources constantly smearing President Donald Trump and his administration instead of doing her job.
Except that if it weren’t for the Trump administration’s raid last week, the kids at the Academia Bautista de Puerto Nuevo would likely still be without power — and again, no thanks to Cruz, the New Progressive Party and every other corrupt official in Puerto Rico.