Democrats look to defend Puerto Rico rooftop solar law

By Kelsey Brugger | 05/10/2024 06:47 AM EDT

Advocates and lawmakers are pushing back on a powerful fiscal control board.

Rep. Raul Grijalva (D-Ariz.).

House Natural Resources ranking member Raúl Grijalva (D-Ariz.) during a hearing on Puerto Rico in 2017. Alex Brandon/AP

Capitol Hill Democrats and national environmental groups are joining a fight against Puerto Rico’s powerful fiscal control board over policies meant to encourage the proliferation of rooftop solar.

The federal Financial Oversight and Management Board — or “La Junta,” as locals call it — recently directed Gov. Pedro Pierluisi to undo a new law that encourages rooftop solar development in Puerto Rico.

The board argued the 2024 law known as Act 10 — which protects net metering until 2031 — would compromise the independence of the island’s energy regulator, the Puerto Rico Energy Bureau. The board, created by Congress to help the island manage its fiscal crisis, threatened “take such actions it considers necessary, including initiating litigation” to undo the law.


House Natural Resources Democrats, led by ranking member Raúl Grijalva (D-Ariz.), are circulating a letter in response. Critics of the board’s actions on solar are also looking to influence its composition.