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Darren Soto Calls For Investigation Into Puerto Rico Power Contract

Damage from Hurricane Maria in Puerto Rico. Photo: Puerto Rico National Guard by Sgt. Jose Ahiram Diaz-Ramos

Congressman Darren Soto (D, Fl) wants an investigation into the contract awarded to restore power in Puerto Rico.

Soto said he’s concerned about how the $300 million contract was awarded to Montana based Whitefish Energy, which he says is inexperienced and has ties to the Trump administration.

In a letter to the US Department of the Interior, Soto wrote that the contract emerged from direct discussion between the Puerto Rico Electric Power Authority and Whitefish, rather than a formal bidding process.

“It’s a 300 million dollar contract for one of the biggest grid rebuilds in American history, and it went to a two person firm,” said Soto.

“You know they’ve been touting the four miles of mountainous terrain they did in a contract briefly, but we’re talking about miles and miles and miles, so we’re just deeply concerned that this is going to continue the slow recovery we’ve seen so far,”  he said.

Seven other Democratic members of congress signed the letter.

In a post on twitter Thursday morning, Whitefish said it is making good progress in Puerto Rico, but the company also said it was waiting for equipment to be released from the port in San Juan.

Whitefish is based in the hometown of Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke, but the department said he had nothing to do with awarding the contract.


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Matthew Peddie

About Matthew Peddie

Host of WMFE's Intersection & Assistant News Director

Matthew Peddie grew up in New Zealand and studied journalism at the University of Western Ontario. After graduating with an MA in Journalism he returned to Christchurch, working as a reporter for Radio Live and Radio New Zealand. He’s reported live from the scene of earthquakes, criminal trials and rugby ... Read Full Bio »