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Bishop: Hurricanes Exposed Decades Of Mismanagement In Puerto Rico

U.S. House Committee On Natural Resources

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. 

Whittney Evans grew up southern Ohio and has worked in public radio since 2005. She has a communications degree from Morehead State University in Morehead, Kentucky, where she learned the ropes of reporting, producing and hosting. Whittney moved to Utah in 2009 where she became a reporter, producer and morning host at KCPW. Her reporting ranges from the hyper-local issues affecting Salt Lake City residents, to state-wide issues of national interest. Outside of work, she enjoys playing the guitar and getting to know the breathtaking landscape of the Mountain West.
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