Feb 6, 2024

Initiative to fund underground power system for Guam gains momentum

The resolution by Senator Jesse Lujan supports an initiative to reinforce Guam’s power, water, and communications infrastructure.

The idea is that it will help both the people of Guam, and the American people, as the island’s strategic importance in the Indo-Pacific remains vital to national defense.

Ginger Cruz and Simon Sanchez, as private citizens, are working to convince Washington to come up with the funding, and in fact worked with Congressman Jim Moylan to insert a provision in the National Defense Authorization Act. 

Cruz said, “It directs the Department of Defense (DOD) to report on the adequacy of civilian infrastructure resilience in the event of a natural disaster. That’s a great first step.” 

DOD would conduct the assessment over a five year period from 2024-29, which will inform Congress of what the specific needs are, why they’re critical, and how much it will cost. 

“And the biggest piece to improving the quality of life to the people of Guam is to get distribution underground. it will serve the interest of our people, it will serve the interests of DOD, and it will serve the interests of our nation, said Sanchez. 

Both said the resolution will provide a big push to Congress, which ultimately controls the purse strings. 

Guam Power Authority (GPA) General Manager John Benavente said they’re on board too as it supports what’s already been one of GPA’s long range goals.

Benavente said, “We understand that even if you gave us $6.4 billion today there’s no way that we can get it done tomorrow. It’s gonna take a multi year effort, maybe ten years  plus to get this thing done but at least the ball needs to get rolling and we can make the most impact and great resiliency with the initial funding that will come from this.”

If passed, the resolution will be forwarded to Congress for its consideration.

By: Nestor Licanto

Source: KUAM News