This is in reply to your subject editorial on Aug. 28. My name is Eloy P. Hara. I have served with the Guam Power Authority as assistant general manager, Public Utilities Commission commissioner, and more recently as Consolidated Commission on Utilities commissioner from late 1987 to January 2015.
Your suggestion that "Senators, governor must advocate for the people" is a potential nightmare! Together, they were having such difficulties trying to pass the 2020 budget of less than $900 million, World War II claims for reparation, income/business tax issues, military expansion, etc. They will definitely not be able to handle a much more technical and complex multibillion-dollar contract. Incidentally, all CCU commissioners are elected. Then there are the PUC commissioners whose job is to evaluate and approve all GPA's requests that "might" increase power rates. Furthermore, except for Chairman Joey Duenas, the other four commissioners are all former senators. Chairman Duenas is a lifelong businessman who owns his financial institution. He formerly held Cabinet positions such as director of the Guam Department of Revenue & Taxation and director of the Department of Administration. Sen. Judi Guthertz was chief of public safety and a business professor at UOG. Former Sen. Francis Santos was a Bank of Guam financial executive and StayWell insurance executive. Former Sen. Mike Limtiaco was an executive at his family's heavy equipment business and owns his farming business. Former Sen. Simon Sanchez is a graduate of Harvard University in city planning. He is also a lifelong business executive overseeing a laundry/dry cleaning venture as well as a trash collection and disposal.
GPA General Manager John M. Benavente holds a master's degree in engineering management. He started his career with GPA as power plant assistant manager in the mid-1970s. He worked his way up the ladder to operations manager, and assistant general manager. He ultimately became general manager in about 1987. I joined Mr. Benavente as his assistant general manager of administration in December 1987. I don't believe that any other person could take Mr. Benavente's place – with a better experience and local utility knowledge. In conclusion, there is no such thing as a "reliable projection." A long-term energy master plan does exist, but must continually be updated. The new power plant is a must for the next 30-plus years. Total renewable solar energy is not yet realistic; other renewable sources of energy are not yet affordable.
Eloy P. Hara is a resident of Sinajana.