So much for transparency. It turns out that the $300 million contract to restore Puerto Rico’s electrical power back to normal was awarded to a small energy company based in Whitefish, Montana. “Small” is relative so let’s put some shape to it. At the time of the contract signing, there were 3 employees at Whitefish Energy including its CEO. Currently, only about 28% of the households of a population of 3.4 million have power on the island of Puerto Rico.
Perhaps the name of the company is not the only “fishy” thing here. Secretary of the Interior Ryan Zinke, a former Whitefish resident, got his son a summer job on a Whitefish Energy construction site. The Secretary was previously a member of the House of Representatives (from Montana) before President Trump appointed him to his current position.
The head of a private equity firm that backs Whitefish Energy, Joe Colonnetta, was a Trump campaign contributor. Examination of the signed contract revealed that its terms barred penalties for work delays and prohibited the project from being audited. I wonder if an autographed copy of The Art of the Deal was thrown in as a premium.
Sunday 10/29/17, Ricardo Rosello, the Governor of Puerto Rico asked the head of Puerto Rico’s electric Company to cancel the contract with Whitefish Energy.