ALBANY, N.Y. (WENY) - New York Attorney General Tish James urged federal authorities to investigate the energy situation in Puerto Rico.

James noted that five years after Hurricanes Irma and Maria hit Puerto Rico, residents continue to endure frequent outages and high electrical rates. These issues were made worse by the impact of Hurricane Fiona, which caused an island wide blackout.

"While I fully support relief efforts underway to help Puerto Rico, I am convinced that we need long-term structural support for the island, not just band aids that take us from one crisis to the next," said Attorney General James. "One of these structural challenges is the power grid and the electrical supply Puerto Ricans rely on for basic necessities. Puerto Ricans are rightly concerned about the failures of LUMA, the island's electric supplier. I am calling for a federal investigation into LUMA and for critical upgrades and system improvements so that Puerto Ricans are never again left in the dark. Together, we must continue to fight for long-term fixes to stabilize and strengthen Puerto Rico and stand in solitary with our brothers and sisters on the island."

She is calling for a review of the situation to ensure that LUMA energy, the island's electrical supplier, is held accountable for providing proper service to residents.

James noted that the challenges and problems with LUMA Energy extend beyond the company's failings in the aftermath of Hurricane Fiona.

Several examples of major issues Puerto Rican ratepayers have endured include:

  • A fire at LUMA's Monacillo substation in June 2021, which resulted in a loss of service to 900,000 customers.
  • An island wide outage in April 2022, impacting 1.5 million people after a fire at one of LUMA's largest power plants, the Costa Sur power plant.
  • Two significant blackouts this past August, one of which impacted nearly 20 percent of customers and resulted in a 25 percent loss in generation.

Millions of Puerto Ricans continue to be without power.