Governor says agencies’ debt with PREPA doesn’t impact price it pays for fuel
By The Star Staff
Gov. Pedro Pierluisi Urrutia said Monday that the money owed by government agencies and corporations to the Puerto Rico Electric Power Authority (PREPA) does not affect the price paid by the utility for fuel.
“This does not really have an impact on the cost of fuel that the Authority is paying,” the governor said in response to questions from the press. “All that has been reported is that if the agencies owe LUMA or the Authority and that, on the other hand, if FEMA could give some money to the Authority, none of that affects the cost of fuel.”
“When we are here asking for the approval of the bill that authorizes the transfer of funds from the State Insurance Fund to the Authority [PREPA], we do so exclusively to address the rise in the cost of fuel that the Authority has already incurred in the past and that motivated the [Puerto Rico Energy] Bureau to increase the electricity bill for this quarter that is running,” Pierlusi said. “That is why we insist that this bill must be approved. Here what is happening is that the [State Insurance] Fund has an extraordinary surplus, never seen before, based on efficiencies and savings that it had in the fiscal year.”
At public hearings in the Senate earlier on Monday the representatives of the governor’s economic team acknowledged that the government has not been able to identify the sources of repayment for the contribution from the State Insurance Fund. Faced with this situation, the governor indicated his rejection of the government returning those funds.
“If when they talk about repayment they are talking about the State Insurance Fund itself reimbursing this amount based on future savings or efficiencies, I have no objection to that, to language of that nature,” Pierluisi said. “But if what they are saying is that other government entities, including the General Fund, should restore this amount, I disagree with that.”