I can't find away around the Journal's cash wall (readers?) but here are some excerpts. Sure sounds like Connecticut, and actually, all 50 states.
Puerto Rico—As residents here grapple with power outages across the entire island, the task of turning the lights back on falls to an electrical utility beset by rickety infrastructure, workforce reductions and financial woes so deep it declared a form of bankruptcy in July.
The “damage is catastrophic,” Ricardo Ramos, chief executive of Prepa, said Friday on CNN. He said previously that it could take months for power to be restored across the island.
[In] May, the island declared what amounts to the largest-ever U.S. municipal bankruptcy.
Two months later, the federal board voted to place Prepa, which has $9 billion of debt, in bankruptcy as well. The move was aimed at helping advance plans to modernize the utility and turn it from a government-owned monopoly into a regulated private utility.
Prepa’s problems have been decades in the making. Early in its history, it earned praise for powering Puerto Rico’s industrialization efforts in the 1940s and 1950s. But over time, it became less efficient, energy analysts say.
Its generating plants, which rely on imported oil for about 60% of their energy production, are mostly obsolete and require major upgrades or outright replacement... Power outages on the island are common. A fire at one of the utility’s plants in September triggered a blackout across the island that left many customers without power for days.
Yet prices are high. In April, Prepa’s average electricity rate for customers was 20.1 cents per kilowatt-hour, down from 25 cents in 2013 but still close to double the average mainland U.S. rate of about 12 cents, according to Moody’s.
For years, Prepa enjoyed easy access to bond markets and borrowed regularly, accumulating enormous debt. Yet it failed to make important capital investments, such as transitioning to natural gas from oil to generate power, analysts say. Analysts say the money went to a bloated payroll, among other things.[emphasis added]
When the island sank into recession, Prepa’s finances suffered even more, as business and residential demand for power declined. The exodus of Puerto Ricans to the continental U.S. is shrinking the island’s population, depleting the utility’s customer base. And austerity measures that the utility implemented as it headed toward bankruptcy resulted in cuts to the workforce it now needs to make repairs.
“All these things have compounded, one on top of the other,” Mr. Soto-Class said. They “will severely limit the ability of Prepa to come back quickly.”