Different organizations today demanded that the government cancel the contract with the Applied Energy Systems (AES) coal factory, which, they reported, affects and endangers the lives of thousands of residents in the south of the island.
“Today, seven years from the expiration of the contract with AES, we strongly ask Governor Wanda Vázquez to cancel this contract once and for all. We Puerto Ricans who live in the south cannot endure seven more years of contamination that makes us sick and poisoned every day. Cancel this contract now, our life and health is worth more than anything, ”demanded Timmy Boyle, spokesman for the group Resistance Against Coal Burning and its Toxic Ashes.
Boyle explained that they have been asking for the cancellation of this agreement for 18 years. “AES keeps killing us and the government does nothing, AES has to go, period. How is it possible that a contract with a company that accepts and recognizes that it poisons us remains active for seven more years? ”He questioned.
The call was joined by the Medical Foundation of the College of Surgeons, the Southeast Environmental Community Alliance, the Socialist Movement of Workers, El Puente, Enlace Latino, Sierra Club, Yabucoeños for the Environment, Christian Continental Network for Peace, Alliance Renewable Energy Now and the Union of Workers of the Electrical and Irrigation Industry (Utier), which also requested the cancellation of the contract with Luma Energy.
“This is the country that loves to give contracts to companies that come to benefit at the expense of Puerto Ricans. Not only do we demand the cancellation of the AES contract, we demand the cancellation of the contract with Luma Energy, which wants to come to increase the cost of energy in this country and put nearly 5,000 Puerto Ricans out of work. We want both contracts canceled now, “said Boyle.
Similarly, the president of the Utier, Ángel Figueroa Jaramillo, demanded the cancellation of the contracts with AES and Luma.
“The government has to cancel both contracts. That of AES for breaking the health and making the citizens of Puerto Rico sick and that of Luma for being a leonine contract that does not benefit the people. Luma and AES have to leave Puerto Rico and that’s it, ”Figueroa Jaramillo said.
The organizations took their claim this morning in front of the Electric Power Authority building in Santurce.
The Applied Energy Systems coal plant is located in Guayama.