Too many unanswered power questions

Hoy newspaper editorializes today on how Dominican consumers have to pay for the most expensive, unstable and abusive power service. “Those who pay get a lack of respect, not only on behalf of the private sector that has invested in generation and distribution of power, but on behalf of the government that should protect and defend the legitimate rights of the society.” The editorial writer estimates that consumers are paying US$22 million more than they should. The editorial also criticizes that the government has not honored its agreements to pay past debts to the generators. The newspaper questions the Madrid agreement which postpones any possibility of consumers getting a break on the high cost of power until 2003, regardless of the significant decline in the price of fuel. It also asks what happened to the General Electricity Law that should have gone into effect on 27 October and that would accord some protection to consumers. The newspaper says the long blackouts are hard to explain when Martin Robles, in charge of transmission for the CDE, issued a press release saying there was sufficient power available to fully cover demand, and there was even a reserve of 200 megawatts.