In Puerto Rico, over 4,000 people took to the streets of San Juan Friday to protest ongoing and worsening power outages and increases in energy costs following the U.S.-imposed privatization of the electricity grid.
Protesters: “¡LUMA afuera! ¡LUMA afuera! ¡LUMA afuera! ¡LUMA afuera!”
Demonstrators chanted “Get out, LUMA!” as they shut down traffic on a main highway. LUMA, a U.S. and Canadian company, took over Puerto Rico’s transmission and distribution of power in June. Residents of the island say the power cuts have damaged appliances and can be life-threatening to those who rely on certain medical machines. Earlier this month, California Congressmember Katie Porter grilled LUMA CEO Wayne Stensby during a virtual hearing.
Rep. Katie Porter: “How many blackouts have been reported since LUMA took over on June 1?”
Wayne Stensby: “The system has a very large number of outages, Congresswoman, both before and after.”
Rep. Katie Porter: “Can you count them? Is it so big you can’t even keep track of them all?”
Wayne Stensby: “There are outages every single day.”
Congressmembers Porter and Raúl Grijalva have requested LUMA turn over multiple documents by the end of this week.