Democratic News

To watch a video of Senator Manchin’s opening remarks, please click here. 

To watch a video of Senator Manchin’s questioning, please click here. 

Washington, DC - U.S. Senator Joe Manchin (D-WV), Ranking Member of the Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee, questioned Puerto Rico Governor Rosselló about the grid infrastructure challenges facing Puerto Rico following Hurricanes Irma and Maria. The hearing also featured Governor Lourdes A. Leon Guerrero (Guam), Governor Albert Bryan (U.S. Virgin Islands) and Governor Ralph Deleon Guerrero Torres (Northern Mariana Islands). 

“The federal government has already invested about $2 billion dollars in emergency work for Puerto Rico. Billions more will soon be coming to build a more efficient and resilient grid. However, even before the hurricane, there were concerns regarding the state of energy infrastructure on the island. Now, all indications point to Puerto Rico not being in a position to take care of the infrastructure it has – let alone billions of dollars in needed improvements. What mechanisms have you put in place to ensure that Puerto Rico is in a position to maintain any infrastructure improvements? How can we ensure our infrastructure is maintained against these severe weather events that we will continue to see?” Senator Manchin asked.

“We can either rebuild the old energy grid that we had, which is exactly what they did in the Virgin Islands for the past five hurricanes. It’s not a very good solution, it’s not a very good use of taxpayer money because you’re going to have to reinvest again in rebuilding it as weather patterns are changing. Or we can think forward and see what we have to do now in order to rebuild the energy grid of the future. Not just for Puerto Rico but for it to be a model for all jurisdictions,” Governor Rosselló said.

To watch the hearing in full, please click here.