Utah Congressman Rob Bishop says more federal oversight may be necessary to aid Puerto Rican recovery efforts. The Puerto Rican Financial Oversight and Management Board was set up last year to help deal with the U.S. Territory’s decades of mismanagement and debt.
During a hearing in Washington Tuesday, Bishop said Hurricanes Maria and Irma changed the focus of the board to disaster recovery.
“The two hurricanes that hit this may have been historic, but they exposed a state of affairs in Puerto Rico that existed way before any of the hurricane’s made landfall,” Bishop said.
The board now must deal with the Puerto Rican Electrical Power Authority known as PROPA, which was already bankrupt from mismanagement. Bishop said recovering the power grid is paramount.
“Energy is not only important to solve the people’s lives in the emergency situation,” Bishop said, “but if Puerto Rico is to economically recover and become vibrant, it has to have a reliable, abundant and affordable energy.”
Bishop leads the Natural Resources Committee, which has jurisdiction over Puerto Rico. He traveled to Puerto Rico with Congressional leaders a little more than a week ago to see the recovery efforts first hand.