Puerto Rico Governor calls for cancellation of Whitefish Energy power restoration deal

Puerto Rico Governor calls for cancellation of Whitefish Energy power restoration deal

"Much of the controversy that has surrounded the contract has focused on the high rates Whitefish is charging for labor". The per diems are also expensive: nearly $80 a day for meals, and $332 a day for lodging. A general foreman costs $336 an hour and a lineman, $319.

"I have given instructions to immediately coordinate with the states of Florida and NY", to bring in power crews to help restore electricity to the island", the Governor added. The power authority declared bankruptcy in July. Democrats also have questioned the role of HBC Investments, a key financial backer of Whitefish Energy.

See the full text of the contract here.

One aspect of the contract that has drawn public scrutiny is the fact that the CEO of Whitefish Energy knows Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke, and Zinke's son worked at one of the company's construction sites.

On Friday, energy regulators launched a probe by the Puerto Rico Energy Commission, a broad investigation into the handling of energy contracts in Puerto Rico in the aftermath of Hurricane Maria. "Any attempts by the dishonest media or political operatives to tie me to awarding or influencing any contract involving Whitefish are completely baseless". MORE: Trump lashes out at Puerto Rico as House weighs aid packageRamos also has said the Federal Emergency Management Agency had approved of the deal, something the agency has denied.

The Department of Homeland Security says its has started an investigation of the awarding of the contract and will look for any "inappropriate relationships". On Friday, FEMA said it was "not involved" and any language that says it was "is inaccurate". Ken Luce, a spokesman for Whitefish, told MSNBC's Stephanie Ruhle that the company has 325 contractors on the ground, while "the Army Corps and others and their contractors are not there yet".

Two days ago, officials with the Federal Emergency Management Agency expressed "significant concerns" about how Techmanski's company won the contract and are investigating.

In a bipartisan letter signed by leaders of the House Energy and Commerce Committee, congressmen are seeking documents from Whitefish and asked for a briefing before committee staff by early November.

The board had to do something: With so many people without power, PREPA is facing heavy criticism for having given the main restoration contract - worth up to $300 million - to Whitefish Energy, a tiny Montana firm with no history of executing on projects of this scale.

Puerto Rican authorities initially said Fema would pay for the deal. Whitefish released a statement that said they were proud of work they are doing and will cooperate with Congress.

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