Montana energy company under fire after ‘shocking’ contract for restoring power to Puerto Rico leaks
A company that few had heard of and only had two employees was chosen to lead power restoration in Puerto Rico for a whopping $300 million. Whitefish Energy, of Whitefish, Montana, is not only linked as a donor to President Donald Trump but the CEO has a financial relationship to Energy Secretary Rick Perry.
“Texas-based company HBC Investments invested in Whitefish Energy this past August, a month before Hurricane Maria struck Puerto Rico and left the U.S. territory in the dark,” Montana Public Radio reported.
HBC Investments’ founder and partner, Joe Colonnetta, has donated more than $40,000 to Rick Perry’s previous campaigns.
“As governor, Perry appointed Colonnetta as a trustee to the Teacher’s Retirement System of Texas,” MPR said Thursday.
In a separate report, the contract was just leaked to the press with some questionable demands.
“In no event shall PREPA, the Commonwealth of Puerto Rico, the FEMA Administrator, the Comptroller General of the United States, or any of their authorized representatives have the right to audit or review the cost and profit elements of the labor rates specified herein,” the contract reads.
“Contractor will use commercially responsible efforts to perform the work in such a manner to meet PREPA’s scheduling expectations, but PREPA waives any claim against Contractor related to delayed completion of the work,” the contract continues.
It essentially guarantees that regardless of whether Whitefish finishes the job, they’ll be paid.
“They’re friends, but I don’t know if they talk and chat, but they obviously had a good relationship in Texas and the governor is fond of all of his supporters and friends in Texas and I’m sure over time they’ve said hello and caught up,” said Ken Luce, a spokesperson for both Whitefish Energy and HBC Investments.
A Congressional committee has already told Puerto Rico to retain all documents with regard to Whitefish Energy pending an investigation. According to The Washington Post
Rep. Rob Bishop (R-UT) who chairs the House Committee on Natural Resources joined Oversight and Investigations Chair Rep. Bruce Westerman (R-AR) in a letter demanding that the head of Puerto Rico’s public utility system “turn documents over to Congress.”
You can see the full contract here or below: