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  • Writer's pictureThe San Juan Daily Star

Not many alternatives for truckers on diesel prices, governor says

By The Star Staff

Gov. Pedro Pierluisi Urrutia said Wednesday that not many alternatives exist to temper the rise in the price of diesel fuel, which has some truckers evaluating whether to go on strike.

“There are matters that are out of our control. What I have done is support measures such as the reduction or elimination of one of the cruditas [gas tax], for a period of 45 days, extendable for an additional 45 days,” the governor said in response to questions from the press. “Also, as you know, in the past, accessing federal funds to assist the Puerto Rico Electric Power Authority to try to mitigate any impact on the electricity bill. Every time I have resources, I’m going to try to use them.”

“Having said that, there are things that are out of our control, the cost of gasoline, the cost of diesel, is really dictated by the market, as the DACO [Consumer Affairs] secretary has rightly said,” Pierluisi added. “So I hope the situation normalizes. In recent days we have seen a decline [in fuel prices]. Let’s hope it lasts. The secretary, he really is doing his job. He is watching profit margins across the gasoline and diesel industry to make sure no one takes unfair advantage of this hike. So we will continue to do our job. Obviously, I sympathize with everyone who rightly complains about an increase in the cost of living. But there are things that are really happening, for example, in this case because of a war in Ukraine, that we don’t really control.”

Regarding the increase in the expenses of the General Services Administration for the purchase of fuel and the debt that some agencies have for this reason, the governor said they are in the process of obtaining the funds to address the situation.

When asked if he would give any instructions to agency heads to control unnecessary fuel costs, Pierluisi replied that “well, that is a healthy measure of public administration.”

“And yes, we all have to act reasonably and prudently in the use of public funds,” he said. “We shouldn’t be wasting fuel.”

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