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US Lawmakers Investigate Firm's Contract to Help Restore Puerto Rico's Power


Workers from Montana-based Whitefish Energy Holdings help fix Puerto Rico’s power grid. Photograph: Alvin Baez/Reuters

CLICK HERE - NPR - Here's What's In That $300 Million Whitefish Contract

Multiple congressional committees seek information on $300m deal awarded to Whitefish Energy Holdings, tiny company in interior secretary’s hometown - October 26, 2017

Multiple congressional committees are investigating a $300m contract awarded to a small Montana company in the hometown of the interior secretary, Ryan Zinke, that was tapped to help restore Puerto Rico’s damaged power grid.

The Puerto Rico Electric Power Authority awarded the contract to tiny Whitefish Energy Holdings to restore transmission and distribution lines damaged or destroyed during Hurricane Maria. The two-year-old company had just two full-time employees when the storm hit last month.



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Comments - by Robert Walton - October 27, 2017

CLICK HERE - Contract - Whitefish - PREPA

As Puerto Rico struggles to restore power to its citizens, a leaked recovery contract awarded to Montana's Whitefish Energy appears to reveal one-sided commitments and stipulations that government agencies cannot review the project's finances. 

Whitefish's contract has been under increasing scrutiny. In the days after Hurricane Maria struck the island, the Puerto Rico Electric Power Authority (PREPA) declined mutual aid offers from other utilities, opting for a $300 million contract with the little-known Montana firm for power restoration. 

And with most of Puerto Rico still without power, Rhodium Group has run the numbers and determined that Hurricane Maria's hit on the island has caused the largest blackout in the United States' history. The storm has so-far disrupted 1.25 billion hours of electricity supply for American citizens, and three quarters of the island still has no power. To date, that's about twice the length of outages caused by Hurricane Katrina in 2005.

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