‘Why did PUC meet on Halloween?’

Sen. Clynt Ridgell (PNC file photo)

Senator Clynt Ridgell, the chairman of the legislative utilities committee, is disappointed that the Public Utilities Commission approved Guam Power Authority’s new Dededo power plant.

In an interview with Andrea Pellacani on NewsTalk K57, Ridgell also asked why PUC decided to meet and approve the new generator contract on Halloween night.

“I did not attend the PUC meeting, unfortunately, because they held it on Halloween and I had to bring my kids trick or treating. I was disappointed that they did it on Halloween because few would want to go to a meeting at 6:30 p.m. on Halloween night when everybody has family functions. Why couldn’t they have held it earlier in the day?” Ridgell asked.

The senator said he was disappointed by the decision because there are still gray areas with regard to the contract, including the part about liquified natural gas, or LNG.

“The LNG portion, we’re still concerned about that. One of the reasons why I opposed the contract was that they still haven’t gotten approval yet for LNG. So they entered into a contract for a power plant that can burn two types of fuel but they still don’t have approval to use one of those fuels. That’s like putting the cart before the horse. A big part of their presentation was that using LNG was cheaper,” Ridgell said.

He added that there’s still a number of questions regarding the use of LNG like safety issues and the fact that GPA will still have to build a storage and gasification facility.

“Now, that part is not in the contract that was signed. But I’ll still keep a watchful eye on what happens with the power plant as far as how it progresses and I’ll weigh in whenever appropriate,” the senator said.