THE PUERTO RICO MESS: Reader Ed Steiner emails:
Before he appoints Peter Thiel to the Sup Ct Trump should put him in charge of reconstructing Puerto Rico. And have Icahn and Schwartzman as part of the team. As Taleb says, guys with skin in the game who know how to actually play the game.
As residents here grapple with power outages across the entire island, the task of turning the lights back on falls to an electrical utility beset by rickety infrastructure, workforce reductions and financial woes so deep it declared a form of bankruptcy in July.
Earlier this month, Hurricane Irma sideswiped the island, knocking out power to about 70% of the customers of the Puerto Rico Electric Power Authority, or Prepa. The utility had made significant strides in restoring electricity when Hurricane Maria struck on Wednesday, wiping out power to 100% of its customers.
The “damage is catastrophic,” Ricardo Ramos, chief executive of Prepa, said Friday on CNN. He said previously that it could take months for power to be restored across the island. . . .
Prepa’s problems have been decades in the making. Early in its history, it earned praise for powering Puerto Rico’s industrialization efforts in the 1940s and 1950s. But over time, it became less efficient, energy analysts say.
Its generating plants, which rely on imported oil for about 60% of their energy production, are mostly obsolete and require major upgrades or outright replacement, said Miguel Soto-Class, president of the Center for a New Economy, a nonpartisan think tank in San Juan that has done in-depth analyses of the utility’s finances.
Power outages on the island are common. A fire at one of the utility’s plants in September triggered a blackout across the island that left many customers without power for days.
Yet prices are high.
Weird how often you hear stuff like this about Democrat-monopoly jurisdictions.