Government of Puerto Rico Testifies before the U.S. House of Representatives Committee on Natural Resources

(March 4, 2021 – Washington, DC) – Today, the Government of Puerto Rico testified before the Committee on Natural Resources of the U.S. House of Representatives to discuss the draft bill of the “Insular Area Climate Change Act”. 

The list of witnesses included: Secretary of Natural and Environmental Resources of Puerto Rico (DRNA per its Spanish acronym), His Excellency Gerald M. Zackios, U.S. Ambassador to the Republic of the Marshall Islands, Ms. Ada Monzón, the President of EcoExploratorio of the Science Museum of Puerto Rico, Mr. Jean-Pierre L. Oriol, the Commissioner of the Department of Planning and Natural Resources of the Virgin Islands, Ms. Zena Grecni, Sustainable Climate Assessment Specialist of the East-West Center, and Dr. Austin Shelton, the Director of the Center for Island Sustainability at the University of Guam.  

The testimony of the DRNA Secretary was framed in accordance with “Law 33 of 2019 Puerto Rico Climate Change Mitigation, Adaptation, and Resilience Act,”,  that seeks to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and the impacts of climate change. Similarly, this act favors the transition to a model that is independent of the use of fossil fuels to produce electricity.

Among the recommendations provided during the hearing by the Secretary of the DRNA to the House Committee on Natural Resources was the allocation of funds to acquire an additional NEXRAD Doppler sytem. 

For her part, Executive Director of the Puerto Rico Federal Affairs Administration (PRFAA), Carmen M. Feliciano, supported the DNRA recommendations.

“Puerto Rico is already suffering the negative effects of climate change as our coasts continue to erode. There is no time to lose, and the U.S. Congress must address this issue with the sense of urgency it deserves. I thank the Chairman of the Natural Resources Committee, Raúl Grijalva, for supporting this law that will aid insular areas that are being affected by greenhouse gas emissions. I look forward to continuing working with Chairman Grijalva and his staff on behalf of all American citizens residing on the island”. stated Feliciano. 

“I thank the House Committee on Natural Resources and Chairman Raul Grijalva for giving me the opportunity to make recommendations and suggestions during this hearing. It is our hope that they will be taken into consideration as the Committee moves forward in the drafting of this legislation,” Machargo concluded.


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