Congresswoman Stacey Plaskett Leads Letter to the Administrator of the Federal Emergency Management Agency to Press the Need for More Resilient Energy Infrastructure in the Virgin Islands
“The power crises in Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands clearly demonstrate the need to invest in electric infrastructure that is resilient and able to withstand powerful storms like Hurricanes Irma and Maria,” stated Congresswoman Plaskett
Washington, D.C. – Congresswoman Stacey Plaskett (USVI), Ranking Member on the Subcommittee on the Interior, Energy, and Environment released the following statement regarding a letter to the Administrator of the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA), William B. Long:
“I would like to thank the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) for their efforts to support communities in the United States devastated by natural disasters, particularly in the U.S. Virgin Islands and Puerto Rico. FEMA has been on the ground in the Virgin Islands and Puerto Rico supporting the recovery effort since the landfalls of Hurricanes Irma and Maria.
“Hurricanes Irma and Maria cut off access to power for most communities on these islands, making critical sites such as hospitals and wastewater treatment sites inoperable. Lack of power has also meant that many businesses remain closed-crippling local economies.
“Rebuilding the power infrastructure to their pre-hurricane standard would be a monumental waste of taxpayer resources as it would leave these islands vulnerable to hurricanes of this magnitude and there would surely be a repeat of the conditions we are facing today.
“For this reason, we implore FEMA and other government agencies engaged in the rebuilding efforts on these islands to include investment in a more resilient power grid, to deploy renewable energy technologies, and to employ distributed generation systems. Global warming has meant that hurricanes and other natural disasters are occurring at alarming rates. Rebuilding the same dated electric grids simply won’t cut it. A focus on resiliency will create a system that not only protects the lives of the American citizens in the Virgin Islands and Puerto Rico, but also protects American dollars.”