August 3, 2018 – Washington, DC – The Chairman of the Puerto Rico Electric Power Authority (PREPA) Elí Díaz Atienza and CEO José Ortiz traveled to Washington, DC this week to brief executive branch officials and Members of Congress on plans for PREPA’s transformation. Carlos Mercader, executive director of the Puerto Rico Federal Affairs Administration, participated on behalf the Office of the Governor of Puerto Rico.
Díaz Atienza, Ortiz and Mercader met with officials from the offices of Alaska Senator and Energy and Natural Resources Committee Chair Lisa Murkowksi (R-AK), Speaker of the House Paul Ryan (R-WI), Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-CA), Senators Marco Rubio (R-FL), Maria Cantwell (D-WA), Bernie Sanders (D-VT), and Congressman Daniel Webster (R-FL).
They also met with officials from the Departments of Energy and Treasury.
Ortiz presented his restructuring plan for PREPA, highlighting Governor Ricardo Rosselló’s goal to generate 40% of Puerto Rico’s energy from renewable sources in the next five years.
“We are working to show both the Trump Administration and Congress the professionalism of the new PREPA leadership. Mr. Ortiz and Diaz Atienza have impeccable reputations and are committed to PREPA’s transformation,” said Carlos Mercader.
“We hope Puerto Ricans can soon count on reliable and affordable electricity that reduces the island’s carbon footprint and combats climate change,” said Diaz.
“Our mid-term goal is to privatize PREPA’s energy generation. This will open the market to competition, and, just like with cell service, offer citizens a more economical and better product,” Ortiz highlighted.
“In the short term, we plan to replace diesel with natural gas in PREPA’s plants. Natural gas is much cheaper and cleaner, and will reduce our environmental impact,” said the CEO.
This week’s meetings not only served to inform Congress of PREPA’s plans, but to develop a personal, working relationship with the Department of Energy as the new PREPA leadership implements the agency’s transformation.