Local June 21, 2012 | 8:29 am

Senator’s grilling of energy chief signals ruling party rift

Santo Domingo.- San Cristobal senator Tommy Galan, one of president elect Danilo Medina’s closest collaborators, yesterday said if the electricity sector still depends on the US$1.0 billion annual subsidy is because the major advances announced by the State owned power utility (CDEEE) aren’t real, but "pure bull" instead.

Galan’s criticism stems from the Executive Branch’s recent Budget request that the Senate include US$500.0 million allocation to energy production, which had already been assigned US$265.0 million.

The Senate Budget Committee member noted that if the CEO of the CDEEE Celso Marranzini’s affirmations on improvements such as cutting costs, collections, and fewer technical losses are true, then there should be, by financial logic, reduced subsidies. But “no one has seen this reduction.”

The lawmaker’s surprising criticism of Marranzini is also against president Leonel Fernandez’s energy policy, and signals the first rift between the outgoing Administration and Medina.

"We see that we’ve increased the CDEE’s subsidy or at least maintaining the levels of previous years. They may argue that it’s the price of a barrel of oil. But the situation on oil has been dragged since 2008. And this year hasn’t been the most expensive for fuel purchase," said the ruling PLD party lawmaker.

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