Brock Long, the head of FEMA, recently testified to the Senate Committee on Homeland Security & Governmental Affairs that his agency was not aware of Whitefish Energy’s $300 million no-bid contract to rebuild Puerto Rico’s electrical grid until after it was awarded. Long told committee members, “there’s no lawyer inside FEMA that would have ever agreed to the language that was in that contract.” Among other controversial items, the contract included a provision that precluded an audit of completed work.
Puerto Rico officials recently canceled the contract amid a series of reports indicating the process may not have been aboveboard. Whitefish, which is based in the Montana hometown of Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke, had only two fulltime employees when it received the contract. Several of Whitefish’s financial backers are major donors to the Trump administration, which has also created the appearance of a conflict. When San Juan Mayor Carmen Yulín Cruz requested more transparency, Whitefish attacked her on Twitter. After initially threatening to remove its workers from the island, Whitefish issued an apology to Mayor Cruz and everyone in Puerto Rico.
New reports indicate the FBI has opened a preliminary inquiry into the contract. “While Whitefish is not aware of any such investigation, Whitefish is committed to full cooperation with any inquiry or investigation,” Ken Luce, Whitefish Energy’s spokesman, told reporters.
What do you think? Are you concerned about Whitefish Energy’s questionable contract?
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