7 PR trade groups to file case to block energy rate hike
Seven Puerto Rico trade groups will announce Thursday the filing of a lawsuit to block what they call the “disastrous” rate hike proposed under the Puerto Rico Electric Power Authority restructuring deal.
The Institute for Competitiveness and Economic Sustainability of Puerto Rico (ICSE-PR), the Puerto Rico Manufacturers Association, the United Retailers Association, the Puerto Rico Products Association, the Chamber of Marketing, Industry and Food Distribution (known as MIDA), the Puerto Rico Hospitals Association, and the Association of Contractors and Consultants of Renewable Energy (ACONER) are banding together against what they call a “job-killing, anti-consumer hike that would be one of the largest of its kind in U.S. history.”
“To satisfy the terms of the widely criticized PREPA debt deal, the Puerto Rico Energy Commission is seeking to advance one of the largest electricity rate hikes in recent US history to be imposed on a statewide or territory-wide basis,” the groups said in a statement issued Tuesday.
Group spokespersons will offer details of the lawsuit Thursday morning. Slated to speak are: Tomas Torres, coordinator, Institute for Competitiveness and Economic Sustainability of Puerto Rico; PRMA President Rodrigo Masses; Davon Lomax, political director, District Council 9 Painters & Allied Trades; Luis Garden-Acosta, president and founder, El Puente and the Latino Climate Action Network; and Tom Sanzillo, director of finance, Institute for Energy Economics and Financial Analysis (IEEFA).
The Institute for Energy Economics and Financial Analysis recently issued a report concluding that the PREPA refinancing scheme is excessively expensive, and excludes renewable energy from future investment in Puerto Rico. The new energy plan offered by PREPA is not transparent and will not achieve its goal of bringing financial stability to PREPA, according to IEEFA and the filers.
The ICSE-PR’s efforts are focused on the intervention processes of the Puerto Rico Energy Commission and the capacity building of other non-governmental organizations as intervenors in the PREC review process of the Puerto Rico electrical system Integrated Resources Plan to achieve the lowest sustainable base electrical energy cost for Puerto Rico, and convince investors that Puerto Rico has an independent, modern, non-partisan regulatory energy framework with a forward-looking plan that merits private investment.
The Cleveland-based Institute for Energy Economics and Financial Analysis conducts research and analyses on financial and economic issues related to energy and the environment. The Institute’s mission is to accelerate the transition to a diverse, sustainable and profitable energy economy and to reduce dependence on coal and other non-renewable energy resources.