Remember when President Donald Trump gave himself a rating of 10 on his response to the disaster in Puerto Rico? It was laughable then, and it’s definitely even more laughable now. We haven’t heard much in the news lately about the plight of Puerto Rico. However, things still aren’t looking good there, and you can blame the Trump administration for that.
According to BuzzFeed, one of the lines that Whitefish Energy repaired has failed, and it was a major one. The island, which had power in about 48 percent of its areas, now only has 18 percent power. Whatever progress that had been made basically was completely lost, perhaps thanks in part to the shifty work of Whitefish Energy.
‘The power line, which runs from Cambalache to Manati in the island’s north, providing power to Puerto Rico’s capital city, is one of the major sections of the power grid that Montana firm Whitefish Energy was working on as part of its controversial contract with PREPA.’
Along with several residents without power, the Puerto Rico federal emergency command center in San Juan was without power.
The Puerto Rico Electric Power Authority (PREPA) originally contracted with Whitefish Energy to restore power to the island. Whitefish only had two full-time employees before Hurricane Maria, yet they were somehow still able to score a $300 million contract.
Better yet, Whitefish, Montana is the hometown of Secretary of the Interior Ryan Zinke. Coincidence? We think not. Yes, Zinke admitted to knowing the CEO of Whitefish Energy. Furthermore, his own son worked during the summer for Whitefish Energy. Just a coincidence? We think not.
According to BuzzFeed, Whitefish is claiming no responsibility for the outage. Their spokesperson Brandon Smulyan commented:
‘None of the issues reported today with the outage have anything to do with the repairs Whitefish Energy performed.’
Furthermore, they reported PREPA is not consulting with Whitefish Energy on the issues.
After plenty of outcries and questioning from both Republican and Democratic officials in Congress and other federal departments, Puerto Rico’s Governor Ricardo Rossello canceled the contract at the end of October.
Regardless of whose fault it is that the power is, yet again, out in Puerto Rico, what is certain is the United States federal government failed the citizens of Puerto Rico — its own citizens — with its slow response and penchant for backroom deals.
Featured image by Mario Tama/Getty Images.