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A small firm you’ve got by no means heard is tasked with restoring energy to Puerto Rico.
USA TODAY

Puerto Rico’s governor on Sunday referred to as for terminating a controversial $300 million contract awarded to a small Montana firm to coordinate restoring electrical energy on the island following Hurricane Maria.

The contract with Whitefish Power Holdings — based mostly within the hometown of Inside Secretary Ryan Zinke — has come beneath scrutiny by federal officers. The corporate in Whitefish, Mont., was shaped two years in the past and had two staff when it was awarded a contract with the Puerto Rico Electrical Energy Authority (PREPA) six days after the huge hurricane struck on Sept. 20. 

Since then, Whitefish has struggled to get energy crews to Puerto Rico to restore the ravaged electrical grid. As of Sunday, 70% of the U.S. territory remained with out energy.

Democrats and Republicans in Congress have referred to as for investigations, and final week, Puerto Rico Gov. Ricardo Rosselló requested that the inspector common of the Division of Homeland Safety look into the contract.

Rosselló went a step additional Sunday throughout a information convention, asking PREPA to cancel the contract with Whitefish and instantly start coordinating with utility corporations in Florida and New York to revive electrical energy.

“There may be no distraction that alters the dedication to carry the electrical system as shortly as attainable,” Rosselló stated in a tweet.

Rosselló stated he had discussions with Florida Gov. Rick Scott and New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo to have officers from these states take over the monumental process of rebuilding the island’s electrical grid. Florida and New York are house to about forty% of the 5 million individuals of Puerto Rican descent dwelling on the U.S. mainland.

Cuomo has made two journeys to Puerto Rico since Maria struck and despatched emergency crews to assist with restoration efforts. Scott has additionally visited the island and declared a state of emergency in Florida to make it simpler for native officers to assist Puerto Ricans fleeing to the mainland.

Rosselló additionally introduced that he’ll use his emergency powers to put in a authorities official to work with PREPA’S contracting division. 

Extra: Puerto Rico’s Gov. Rosselló orders audit of Whitefish contract to fix power grid

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