Sea Turtles Delay Debt-Ridden Puerto Rico’s Gas-Switching Plan – Bloomberg Business

Add hawksbill sea turtles and elkhorn coral to the list of things Puerto Rico has to worry about as it confronts its worst-ever financial crisis.

Endangered and threatened species are partly to blame for holding up construction of a liquefied natural gas terminal that the U.S. commonwealth needs to convert a plant with one-third of the island’s power-generating capacity to the cleaner-burning fuel from oil. Puerto Rico Governor Alejandro Garcia Padilla says the changeover will reduce electricity bills and boost the economy as the island seeks to trim its $70 billion debt load.

The conflict will come to a head April 16 when the Puerto Rico Electric Power Authority, known as Prepa, is supposed to start burning gas at the Aguirre power plant to meet a federal mandate to lower mercury and other toxic emissions. The LNG import terminal won’t open in time to make that happen, leaving the island caught between rules that protect the environment and the threat of power blackouts.

Source: www.bloomberg.com

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