Chair Grijalva Statement on Fire at Main Power Plant in Puerto Rico, Island-Wide Outage

Washington, D.C. – Natural Resources Committee Chair Raúl M. Grijalva today issued the following statement about a Wednesday evening fire—caused in part by a circuit breaker failure at the Costa Sur power plant in Puerto Rico—that led to an island-wide power outage. Nearly two full days after the fire, approximately 60 percent of residents are still without electricity and tens of thousands of residences and businesses remain without access to water. 

“The island’s outdated power grid is clearly a hazard,” Chair Grijalva said. “Its failures are disrupting lives, closing schools and workplaces, and endangering a health care system in the midst of an ongoing pandemic. It is inexcusable that the people of Puerto Rico continue to suffer these sudden and long-lasting outages. They deserve an electricity system that meets their needs, not one that puts them in harm’s way.”

Officials with LUMA Energy and the Puerto Rico Electric Power Authority—the two entities responsible for energy generation, transmission, and distribution in Puerto Rico—are currently investigating the cause of the circuit breaker failure. They estimate that power will be restored to at least two-thirds of the island’s 1.5 million customers by this evening.

The Committee is in contact with officials responding to the incident and will continue to closely monitor the situation.  

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