Puerto Rico's Governor Ricardo Rossello seeks to cancel the $300 million contract given to Whitefish Energy, a company with ties to Secretary of the Interior Ryan Zinke. Zinke claims that he had nothing to do with the 'Whitefish' contract , instead he blamed the 'dishonest media' for the controversy. Zinke is neighbors with the owner of Whitefish according to Vanity Fair.
Puerto Rico’s governor on Sunday demanded that the board of the island’s power company cancel the $300M contract with Whitefish Energy Holdings amid increased scrutiny of the Montana company’s role in Hurricane Maria recovery efforts. “There cannot be any kind of distraction that alters the commitment to restore electrical power as soon as possible in Puerto Rico,” Rossello said, adding that nearly $8 million has been paid to Whitefish so far.
FEMA has raised concerns that a 2-person company with a limited track record had been given the task of restoring power to all of Puerto Rico.
FEMA has raised concerns about how Whitefish got the deal and whether the contracted prices were reasonable. The 2-year-old company had just two full-time employees when the storm hit, but it has since hired more than 300 workers.
Secretary of the Interior blamed 'the dishonest media' for the controversy.
“I had absolutely nothing to do with Whitefish Energy receiving a contract in Puerto Rico,” Zinke recently said in a statement linked to a tweet. “Any attempts by the dishonest media or political operatives to tie me to awarding or influencing any contract involving Whitefish are completely baseless.”
Even more curiously, the company, Whitefish Energy, is based in the hometown of Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke, who knows the owner, Andy Techmanski, and whose son worked a summer job at one of Techmanski’s construction sites.