Privatization concerns grow as PREPA seeks $1.3 billion loan

Photo: FEMA

SAN JUAN, Puerto Rico (AP) - Puerto Rico officials are denying claims they plan to eliminate a regulatory agency that oversees the island's power company amid plans to privatize the utility, which they have warned will run out of funds by mid-February.

Monday's denial comes a day after a federal control board overseeing the island's finances requested that a judge authorize a loan of up to $1.3 billion to Puerto Rico's Electric Power Authority so it can keep operating.

Public Affairs Secretary Ramon Rosario said the Energy Commission is not being eliminated but rather it will be combined with two other regulatory bodies as part of a plan to consolidate government agencies amid an 11-year-old recession.

Rosario said the plan is to combine the Energy Commission with the Telecommunications Regulatory Board and the Public Service Commission.