Velázquez on PROMESA Oversight Board Appointing Transformation Officer for Puerto Rico Electric Power Authority
Washington, DC - Rep. Nydia M. Velázquez (D-NY) released the following statement regarding news that the Oversight Board has appointed a Chief Transformation Officer (CTO) for the Puerto Rico Electric Power Authority (PREPA):
“Puerto Rico’s recovery depends on a reliable electrical system. Yet, one month after Maria made landfall in Puerto Rico, seventy five percent of the Island remains without electrical power.
“PREPA has made clear it is not equipped for the enormous task of quickly restoring the Island’s power. Initially, the utility decided to forego ‘mutual aid’ agreements with other power authorities that have previously proven effective in rapidly restoring power in other hurricane-impacted areas. The Authority’s dubious decision to contract with a small, inexperienced and obscure company further underscored the need for intervention. It is therefore completely appropriate for the Board to step in by making this appointment. As I have said previously, under PROMESA, the Oversight Board is not just authorized to take this action -- it has a legal responsibility to do so. This appointment should be approved expeditiously.
“Going forward, the new CTO should present a clear plan as to how it will work with FEMA and the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers. There must be full transparency throughout this process so the U.S. taxpayer has confidence federal resources are being wisely spent and, more importantly, that everything possible is being done to assist the Puerto Rican people and quickly restore power.”