Puerto Rican views on new statehood bill reflect differing positions in the Island’s diaspora

Statehood has been a contentious topic for Puerto Rico and its diaspora for decades. The debate about whether or not “the Island”–as many Puerto Ricans refer to it–should become the 51st state has seemingly intensified since Hurricane Maria devastated Puerto Rico last fall. On June 27, U.S. Rep. Jenniffer González-Colón (R) filed a bill that would make Puerto Rico a state by 2021. The bill has received bipartisan support in Congress. The current governor of Puerto Rico, Ricardo Rosselló, who ran on a pro-statehood platform, called statehood a “civil rights” issue for the people of Puerto Rico.

Read more

Community solar for sustainability in Puerto Rico

When Hurricane Maria wiped out power to most of Puerto Rico, it showed the rest of the world what many on the island already knew. Puerto Rico’s energy system, run by the Puerto Rico Electric Power Authority (PREPA) government utility, was seriously outdated, unreliable and extremely vulnerable to the kind of extreme weather that frequently hits the island. Puerto Ricans knew they needed something different.

Read more