Commend Puerto Rico’s Clean Energy Initiative

Target: Luis Fortuño, Former Governor of Puerto Rico

Goal: Commend the approved construction of an innovative clean energy plant

The island territory of Puerto Rico recently passed legislation protecting several pristine natural habitats from development, including the Northeast Ecological Corridor. Building upon these successes, Puerto Rico also recently announced an innovative renewable energy initiative that will provide cleaner energy for thousands of homes while reducing environmentally hazardous landfill waste.

Following Environmental Protection Agency approval earlier this year, Puerto Rico will build a new 77 megawatt EfW plant. According to ThinkProgress and the Washington Post, this “$650 million facility… will be built in three years in the town of Arecibo, [creating] thousands of direct and indirect induced jobs, and turn more than 2,100 tons of garbage a day into renewable electricity for 76,000 homes on the island.” Given the island’s “overwhelming” reliance on imported petroleum and gas this is an outstanding effort to diversify energy sources for the territory, using a cleaner innovative technology.

EfW plants, or “energy-from-waste” plants, burn waste products that would otherwise sit in landfills. As ThinkProgress notes, “for every ton of garbage processed at an EfW facility, approximately one ton of emitted carbon-dioxide equivalent in the atmosphere is prevented. This is because the trash burned at an EfW facility doesn’t generate methane, as it would at a landfill.” Using waste to produce electricity also greatly reduces greenhouse gas emissions because equivalent volumes of waste in landfills release as much as “two to six times more greenhouse gases than EfW plants.”

Sign this petition commending Puerto Rico’s former Governor, Luis Fortuño, for leading the territory toward a greener, cleaner future.

PETITION LETTER:

Dear Governor Luis Fortuño,

Over the last few years Puerto Rico has passed notable environmentally friendly legislation, including the protection of the Northeast Ecological Corridor. Building upon these successes, the announcement of a new EfW (“Energy-from-waste”) plant in Arecibo ensures dramatic reductions in greenhouse gas emissions while providing thousands of jobs in an innovative clean energy facility.

Such EfW plants, burn waste products that would otherwise sit in landfills. As ThinkProgress notes, “for every ton of garbage processed at an EfW facility, approximately one ton of emitted carbon-dioxide equivalent in the atmosphere is prevented. This is because the trash burned at an EfW facility doesn’t generate methane, as it would at a landfill.” The Arecibo plant’s 2,100 ton per day capacity would therefore reduce up to 12,000 tons of emitted carbon-dioxide from the atmosphere daily.

We wish to thank you for this important effort to protect the pristine ecological treasures of Puerto Rico. Clean energy technologies reduce our collective environmental impacts, provide thousands of jobs, and cleverly reuse unlikely energy resources. Continue pushing for sensible solutions to our global energy challenges.

Sincerely,

[Your Name Here]

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3 Comments

  1. Hello! I really enjoyed your article! I’m actually from Puerto Rico and I am also very excited about all the changes that are happening in the island. They are definitely steps in the right direction! However, I thought you should know that you might have been misinformed. Our current governor, Alejandro Garcia Padilla was actually NOT the person to put these changes in motion, it was our ex-governor Luis Fortuño. He was committed to bringing clean energy solutions to our island. He is a very honest man, talked about natural gas cracking in Puerto Rico but as soon as he realized the dangers of it and everything that comes with it, he shut the whole thing down and admitted his mistake.

    Our current governor has actually talked about stopping some of these developments recently and a lot of people are worried that he might actually do so. Why? Well he doesn’t say it in so many words but basically because Fortuño was the one that came up with the ideas. See, politics are the same everywhere, if one side is in favor of something, the other side opposes it completely on principle, even if it is for the good of the people. So, if anything we should petition for Padilla to move forward with these these changes! I’m not against Padilla, but I am definitely worried that we will move backwards instead of forwards.

    • Nadia,

      Thank you for your reply! I edited the petition to reflect Luis Fortuño’s role in the EfW plant instead — sometimes fact checking allows certain things to slip by (e.g., when one administration turns over and the subsequent one gets credit for previous policies — for folks without extensive knowledge of leadership in Puerto Rico, or many lower-profile US states, foreign countries, etc. — it can be a quick and incorrect assumption). I think, given that the purpose of this particular petition is to thank the individual(s) responsible for bringing a sustainable energy solution to Puerto Rico, Luis Fortuño is the appropriate ‘Target.’ If Governor Padilla ends up eventually making moves against further environmentally friendly initiatives or seeks to undermind the EfW plant, I’ll keep your thoughtful comment in mind!

      Thanks again, Nadia!

      -Andy

  2. Annamaria says:

    Not signed, do not is good news!
    Burn waste , at high temperatures necessary to prevent the production of dioxins produces nanoparticles, non-filterable, that are released into the air and you still do not know the true effects on health furthermore the ash produced are very poisonous.
    The energy required to burn is greater than that produced and the only one who earns a lot is the contractor who charges twice for the same product: waste disposal and energy production.
    The real solution less costly to the environment and health is the drastic reduction of waste and the recycling.
    In Europe, these plants will have to close by 2020.

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