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Economists propose green energy policy for job, fiscal growth

The Puerto Rico Economists Association are promoting an “energetic transition” for the commonwealth based on the findings of a study that concludes doing so will bring fiscal prosperity and job growth.

In its 35th annual assembly, Economist Robert Pollin presented the keynote speech entitled “Austerity vs. Green Growth for Puerto Rico” based on an article on counterproposals based on green investments, a carbon tax, and debt forgiveness by Puerto Rico’s creditors published by “Challenge: The Magazine of Economic Affairs.”

“The cost per kilowatt of renewable energy is less than the current cost in Puerto Rico. A pollution tax can be used to invest in renewable energy, reducing the importation of fuels, increasing the creation of jobs and providing cheaper energy,” Pollin said.

“The creation of jobs could reach up to 80,000. If they continue betting on austerity, the economy of Puerto Rico will not recover,” said Pollin, a professor at the University of Massachusetts at Amherst, who has studied the subject of energy in different countries.

“Even after what is hoped to be a successful recovery from the hurricane’s damage — no small task — proposals to reform the Puerto Rican economy being discussed by the government would make matters worse,” the report’s abstract notes.

In the same activity a motion was approved by the Association recommending cooperatives and worker-owned corporations as part of the solution to the energy problem and another motion that calls on the government to take into account the Association’s recommendations on economic and decision-making policies.

During the assembly, the professional organization constituted its new Board, headed by Alba Brugueras-Fabre. Economist Heriberto Martínez was elected vice president and next president, Martha Quiñones as head of the Women’s Committee and Iván Elías as chairman of the Editorial board. Other Board members include Economists Antonio Fernós, José Caraballo-Cueto, Luis Rodríguez, Carlos Acevedo and Antonio Rosado and Professor Iyari Ríos.

“The Association will remain under my presidency a non-partisan and independent space for discussion on the island’s current and economic future. For that we will be focused on the construction of alliances with civil society organizations and we will offer special emphasis on matters related to education on economic matters,” said Brugueras.

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