Another Scandal for Ryan Zinke??? Whitefish Energy Threatens to Sue Puerto Rico Electric Power Authority (PREPA) for 83 Million

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“The head of Puerto Rico’s Electric Power Agency, known as PREPA, has resigned, as half the island still has no electricity two months after Hurricane Maria. Ricardo Ramos had faced widespread outrage for signing a $300 million contract with the tiny Montana-based company Whitefish, named after the hometown of Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke. Whitefish is now threatening to sue Puerto Rico’s Electrical Power Agency, claiming the power authority owes the company $83 million dollars.” via Democracy Now:

The neverending saga of Whitefish Energy, the tiny two-person company that received the no-bid contract to restore electricity to United States territory and hurricane-ravaged Puerto Rico is now threatening to sue.

This comes after reports that, according to VOX:

“The company is headquartered in Interior Secretary Zinke’s hometown of Whitefish, Montana, a town of 7,200, and is financed by a private equity firm run by a major donor to President Trump.

One of Zinke’s sons worked for a summer on a construction site for Andy Techmanski, Whitefish’s CEO.”

Full story: The FBI is investigating Whitefish Energy’s contract to rebuild Puerto Rico’s grid

 

Also, the New York Times reported: The Lineman Got $63 an hour. The Utility Was Billed $319 an hour.

That is a great rate of return on Whitefish Energy’s investment to restore electricity to Puerto Rico and now it seems that

According to CNN:

“PREPA, $9 billion in debt before Hurricane Maria, came under fire and derision after it emerged the agency signed a $300 million contract with Whitefish, a young company with just two full-time employees when the storm smashed the island’s power grid. FEMA said it would never have supported the contract.

There were also concerns about how Whitefish approached Puerto Rican authorities and how both Techmanski and Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke are from the same small Montana town.”

Via NPR: Here’s What’s In That $300 Million Whitefish Contract

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Nathan Kosted

5 Comments

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  • I generally enjoy the fact that you do not spread opinions unless backed by evidence. So far, the evidence presented here supports that WFE may have fleeced the taxpayers, but I am not seeing any proof that Zinke had anything to do with this, though a good investigative question. I know Zinke, and knew and even liked him before what appears to be his Machiavellian “ethical” system (no surprise, given what SEALS sometimes have to do in our name!) led him to suck on the Koch teat…that was when I realized the Machiavellian probability, as his [politics turned crazy extreme right while presenting as if a centrist!
    Besides, there are many things you can focus on to demonstrate that he carries water for the uber wealthy, and multinationals…NOT we the people, and you risk losing credibility when you act like this is a Zinke scandal. (It MAY be, but I have seen no evidence that he had anything to do w the WFE getting the contract.
    It DOES piss me off that fleecing the public has been institutionalized…especially in defense and security expenditures, but who knows? MAYBE it’ll be like gay and sexual assault from powerful men! (i.e.: looks hopeless for a long time, and then suddenly, there is this tectonic plate type shift that creates the cultural earthquake of change that informs us that the pressure for change was building all along out of our awareness!!) : )

    • This article talks about Zinke being from same town of Whitefish but zinke’s & at least 1 of the owners were NEXT DOOR NEIGHBORS- Zinke’s son worked for them 1 summer.

  • “the tiny two-person company that received the no-bid contract”

    Lie

    There were 4 bids, of generally equal amounts, according to the testimony by the head of the power co in front of congress.

    “The Lineman Got $63 an hour. The Utility Was Billed $319 an hour.”

    Well DAH!

    The company had to provide the linemen, and their transportation, their food, their communications (no cell service), the cranes and other erection equipment, the steel for the towers, the actual cable to be strung, and living quarters on site.

    And they were willing to provide this to a bankrupt power company,

    But the most important fact was that they had 90 linemen ready to go last week, when their contract was cancelled.

  • HOWEVER YOU PAINT THE PICTURE, IT COMES UP BLURRY… ZINKE AND HIS PALS MAY HAVE SCHEMED THIS WHOLE THING OUT KNOWING THAT THE LEGALEZE SLEAZE WOULD GET THEM A PAYDAY. SAD
    TO SAY!

  • Ready to go last week?!?! 2 months after they lost power they JUST NOW hired people to potentially help? Um too late!!

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