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Environmentalists Fear Poison Pill In Puerto Rico Debt Bill

Congress is expected to unveil a plan today to address Puerto Rico’s debt crisis, but environmentalists are anxious about a possible rider in the bill that would relinquish federal control of a national wildlife refuge on the island of Vieques. Representative Robert Bishop, chairman of the house natural resources committee, wants the federal government to give up a 3,100-acre chunk of the refuge, which is home to 16 endangered species and hosts hundreds of species of birds as they migrate across the Caribbean.

Here & Now host Meghna Chakrabarti talks to Adriana Gonzalez, an environmental justice organizer for the Sierra Club in San Juan, Puerto Rico. Gonzalez worries cash-strapped Puerto Rico would be unable to properly manage the wildlife refuge, and might even open it up for development.

Guest

  • Adriana Gonzalez, environmental justice organizer for the Sierra Club in San Juan, Puerto Rico.

Copyright 2020 NPR. To see more, visit https://www.npr.org.

The beach is empty on July 1, 2015 in San Juan, Puerto Rico. The island's residents are dealing with increasing economic hardships and a financial crisis that has resulted in the government's $72 billion debt.  Governor Alejandro Garcia Padilla said in a speech recently  that the people will have to sacrifice and share in the responsibilities for pulling the island out of debt. Consumer tax on certain items has risen to 11.5 percent. (Photo by Joe Raedle/Getty Images)
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The beach is empty on July 1, 2015 in San Juan, Puerto Rico. The island's residents are dealing with increasing economic hardships and a financial crisis that has resulted in the government's $72 billion debt. Governor Alejandro Garcia Padilla said in a speech recently that the people will have to sacrifice and share in the responsibilities for pulling the island out of debt. Consumer tax on certain items has risen to 11.5 percent. (Photo by Joe Raedle/Getty Images)

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