Whitefish Energy apologizes after arguing with San Juan Mayor Carmen Yulin Cruz, even threatening to pull out of recovery efforts in Puerto Rico, after questions surfaced about how the tiny company was able to land a $300 million contract to help overhaul the electricity grid on the hurricane-ravaged island.
“Mayor Cruz and everyone in Puerto Rico — on behalf of our employees, we would like to apologize for our comments earlier today, which did not represent who we are and how important this work is to help Puerto Rico’s recovery,” the company said in a statement.
“We have a strong team on the ground, we are working hard and making good progress. Our goal is to continue to do all we can to help everyone in Puerto Rico in this time of need.”
— Whitefish Energy (@WhitefishEnergy) October 26, 2017
Whitefish Energy is only two years old and has two employees, but yet it was able to land such a lucrative contract. Why? The company is based in Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke’s Montana hometown. It signed the contract with Puerto Rico Electric Power Authority (PREPA).
Mayor Cruz told Yahoo News, “The contract should be voided right away and a proper process which is clear, transparent, legal, moral and ethical should take place.”
The company responded saying that Cruz’s comments were “misplaced.” To which she shot back by questioning that Whitefish Energy is “afraid we will find” and if they think asking for more transparency is “misplaced.”
Whitefish tweeted: “We’ve got 44 linemen rebuilding power lines in your city & 40 more men just arrived. Do you want us to send them back or keep working?”
They continued: “Mayor, you called for our work to end. We do not want to leave the island without help. We’re committed to restoring power to Puerto Rico.”
You would think I am the only one in the world that has commented on this. What is it about women having an opinion that irritates some? pic.twitter.com/XxGNLomjQy
— Carmen Yulín Cruz (@CarmenYulinCruz) October 25, 2017
Mayor Cruz was called “nasty” and attacked by Donald Trump after she slammed the administration for its poor response to the devastation left behind by Hurricane Maria.
Puerto Rico’s Gov. Ricardo Rossello requested an audit of the contract yesterday. He sent a letter to the Department of Homeland Security’s inspector general to determine how Whitefish came to be awarded the contract. The company not only has ties to Zinke, but also to Donald Trump.
— Ricardo Rossello (@ricardorossello) October 25, 2017
I am glad officials are speaking up and questioning how this deal came to be in the first place. Seems to me that some shady dealings occurred.