The perplexing decision to award obscure Montana company Whitefish Energy with a massive contract to help fix Puerto Rico’s failing electrical grid has prompted mass outrage, a ridiculous twitter spat, a bullshit apology, and now, the beginnings of two separate congressional investigations.
On Thursday, members of the House Committee on Energy and Commerce requested that Whitefish Energy CEO Andrew Techmanski provide numerous documents relating to its recent contract with the Puerto Rico Electric Power Authority and its ongoing work on the island ahead of a November 9 appearance before the committee.
“We understand Whitefish is focused on the critical task of restoring power for the population of Puerto Rico,” the committee members wrote in a letter to Techmanski. “In light of the questions that have been raised about your company’s involvement in recovery efforts, however, it is important to develop a clear understanding of the facts.”
The House Natural Resources Committee is also probing the peculiarities of the $300 million contract. In a letter asking PREPA Executive Director Ricardo Ramos to provide documents on the process by which Whitefish was awarded the lucrative contract, the committee members wrote:
The size and terms of the contract, as well as the circumstances surrounding the contract’s formation, raise questions raise questions regarding PREPA’s standard contract awarding procedures.
Ramos has previously defended the decision to award Whitefish the contract, claiming they were the most available company who were not requiring upfront payment for their work.
Meanwhile, the Department of Homeland Security’s Office of Inspector General has confirmed that it is also looking into the Whitefish deal.
“They will review the contract and as part of their standard procedure, they will conduct vetting to look for the presence of any inappropriate relationships,” an OIG spokesperson told The Hill.
Whitefish, meanwhile, claims to have several hundred workers—many of whom are subcontractors—on the ground in Puerto Rico. As of Thursday, just under 75% of the island was still without power.