Puerto Rico Governor Ricardo Rossello has called for the immediate cancellation of a $300 million contract with Montana-based Whitefish Energy Holdings, a tiny company based in the hometown of Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke. Justin Mitchell reports.
Puerto Rico governor Ricardo Rossello called Sunday for an immediate cancellation of the government contract with a tiny Montana-based energy company to bring electricity back to his devastated island. Whitefish Energy Holdings is based in Whitefish, Montana, the home town of Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke. How the tiny two-person company scored a $300 million contract on the other side of the continent with no competitive bidding process has been under increased scrutiny in recent weeks, with Democrats charging political cronyism. Zinke denied having anything to do with the contract, despite the company's location and the fact Zinke's son once worked for the company. The contract itself was leaked last week, and included a clause that barred any government review of the deal. In a statement to reporters, Rossello said, "Following the information that has emerged, and with the goal of protecting public interest, as governor I am asking government and energy authorities to immediately activate the clause to cancel the contract to Whitefish Energy." Most of Puerto Rico is still without power several weeks after getting rocked by Hurricane Maria. President Trump has praised his administration's response to the disaster.