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Charlotte Amalie
Thursday, July 18, 2024


Gov. Charles Turnbull said Monday the Legislature's vote to defeat the Southern Energy joint-venture proposal is a setback for the territory's economic development.
The governor, speaking from Los Angeles where he is attending the Democratic National Convention, noted that reliable water and power are essential to attracting new investors and spurring economic expansion.
"The failure to seize this moment of opportunity deprives us of the resources to invest in our schools, improve our health-care facilities, ensure public safety and provide for the elderly, the needy and the disadvantaged," Turnbull said.
The deal as structured would have eliminated part of the Virgin Islands' substantial debt and created hundreds of millions of dollars in economic development projects, he noted.
But despite the defeat, Turnbull said his administration will do what must be done to promote and encourage outside investors while removing what he termed "unnecessary barriers to positive, economic development."
Turnbull said while he is disappointed, he is not discouraged, and he will not be diverted from implementing the key components of the recently developed Five-Year Economic Recovery Plan to resolve our financial problems.
"Political leaders should put their personal aspirations aside and do what is best for the long-term benefit of all Virgin Islanders," Turnbull said.
Turnbull, as titular head of the local Democratic Party, is leading the Virgin Islands delegation at the week-long national convention in California. In his absence, Lt. Gov. Gerard Luz James II is serving as acting governor.

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