Whitefish Energy is the 2-person Montana company from Trump Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke's hometown of Whitefish, Montana that was awarded a $300M contract to help remediate Puerto Rico's shattered electrical grid, billing its subcontractors at $462/hour for supervisors and $319.04/hour for linesmen in a sweetheart deal that banned Puerto Rico from auditing the company's expense reports, or penalizing it for nonperformance.
After widespread outcry, the governor of Puerto Rico demanded the termination of the contract, which has now happened. Whitefish's other contracts with the US government, states and territories are being audited.
70% of Puerto Rico has no power. It has been 40 days since Hurricane Maria struck the island.
Secretary Zinke, whose son was employed by Whitefish as a summer job, denies having any role in awarding the contract to Whitefish.
A Whitefish contract obtained by The Associated Press found that the deal included $20,277 an hour for a heavy lift Chinook helicopter, $650 an hour for a large crane truck, $322 an hour for a foreman of a power line crew, $319 an hour for a journeyman lineman and $286 an hour for a mechanic. Each worker also gets a daily allowance of $80 for food, $332 for a hotel room and $1,000 for each flight to or from the mainland.
Puerto Rico scraps Whitefish Energy's $300M power grid contract after governor's demand
(Image: Alachua County, CC-BY)
Secretary of the Interior Ryan Zinke (previously) is leaving the cabinet at the end of the month.
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