Dear Colleague, 

We invite you to join us in sending a letter to the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) urging it to invest in more resilient energy infrastructure as it engages in Puerto Rico recovery efforts. 

It has been two months since Hurricanes Irma and Maria made landfall on Puerto Rico, decimating the island and leaving the residents without access to power, clean water, and other basic necessities. Despite the work of FEMA and its government partners as well as of many private renewable energy companies, as of November 16, only 43 percent of Puerto Rico’s power grid had been restored. 

Congress has appropriated billions of dollars in disaster relief packages to assist the people of Puerto Rico and rebuild the island’s infrastructure. We believe that recovery dollars dedicated to restoring power should be spent on a modernized and resilient energy grid—focused on renewable energy technologies and distributed generation—that can withstand powerful storms. Rebuilding the same type of electric grids that will be vulnerable to the same type of hurricanes would be an enormous waste of taxpayer resources.

Please join us in advocating for the wise spending of disaster relief recovery funds in Puerto Rico. If you are interested in signing this letter, please contact Elizabeth Arevalo in my office at [email protected] by close of business on November 27.


Ted W. Lieu
Stacey Plaskett 

November XX, 2017

The Honorable William B. Long


Federal Emergency Management Agency

500 C Street, SW, Room 8 SW

Washington, D.C. 20472


Dear Administrator Long,

Thank you for your agency’s efforts to respond to the natural disasters wreaking havoc in the United States, particularly in Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands. As you and your government partners engage in recovery efforts, we strongly urge you to invest in a more resilient energy infrastructure focused on renewable energy technology and distributed generation.

It has been well over a month since Hurricanes Irma and Maria made landfall in the Caribbean, cutting off access to power for most communities on the islands. Without electricity, critical sites such as hospitals and wastewater treatment plants remain inoperable, local businesses stay closed, and performing regular tasks become nearly impossible. Following the storms, reports surfaced of solar power systems successfully providing energy to farmers, hospitals, and fire stations. Yet, on November 16, only 43 percent of Puerto Rico’s power grid had been restored. This is a travesty.

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. Restoring the same type of grid that will be vulnerable to the same type of hurricane would be a monumental waste of taxpayer resources and an injustice to the American citizens living there. As such, we ask that rebuilding efforts on these islands include investment in a more resilient power grid, deploying renewable energy technologies and employing distributed generation systems. In recent years, hurricanes and other natural disasters have occurred at alarming rates. Rather than rebuilding dated electric grids, focusing on resiliency will improve our energy security and ensure that taxpayer dollars are spent wisely.

Again, thank you for your efforts to provide assistance to those affected by the recent hurricanes and wildfires. We appreciate your attention to this request. 


Ted W. Lieu                                                                                        Stacey Plaskett

Member of Congress                                                                          Member of Congress