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Puerto Rico Joins Push to Banish Fossil Fuel From Power Grids

April 17, 2019
A year after Hurricane Maria devastated its power grid, island pledges to adopt renewable energy by 2050.

(Bloomberg): Add Puerto Rico to the list of U.S. places swearing off fossil fuels.

The commonwealth’s governor, Ricardo Rossello, signed on a bill recently, requiring Puerto Rico to source all of its electricity from renewable sources by 2050. It comes one day after Chicago’s city council vowed to do the same by 2035. So far, California, Hawaii and New Mexico are the only states that have made similar, legislative pledges.

The push to squeeze coal and gas from the power sector comes as the Trump administration eases regulations and climate targets. The movement by cities and some states is partly a reaction to the White House, but it’s also in response to destructive wildfires and storms. Puerto Rico’s pledge comes about a year and a half after Hurricane Maria devastated the island and its power grid.

It may not be easy to go all-green. While declining wind and solar costs have prompted scores of coal plants to close, utility executives say natural gas remains indispensable to keep the lights on.

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