by Mindy Aguon
Guam - Hoping to get everybody on the same page, Congresswoman Madeleine Bordallo sat down with members of the Consolidated Commission on Utilities for an hour this afternoon. There have been plenty of concerns raised about provisions in the Fiscal Year 2010 National Defense Authorization Act, which would turn over Fena to the Government of Guam at a cost of an estimated $300 million and allowed for the DoD to have 33% voting rights on the CCU.
Chairperson Simon Sanchez says Bordallo explained how the congressional process works and now the Commission is going to make lemonade out of lemons. He says the only good part of the provision for the transfer of Fena is the authorization to offset the costs of the transfer with amounts owed to Guam for Compact impact.
"Our final takeaway is the most important thing to us is the Pentagon is authorized to begin the negotiation of the transfer," said Sanchez. "That's critical for us and we're going to focus on sitting down with the DoD and negotiate the transfer. When we get to the cost pieces we hope it will still end u p at no cost. When we get to the CCU participation, it's clear that everybody on Guam - including the congresswoman - objects to that provision and we're hopefully going to convince the DoD that they don't need to sit on the board."
Sanchez says the CCU will make it clear that the DoD's position on the CCU will be the dealbreaker, but he's hopeful negotiations will be successful in removing that provision and transferring Fena at no cost to taxpayers.