Top Democrats Demand IG Investigation into Whitefish Energy No-Bid Contract in Puerto Rico
Washington, D.C.—Today Ranking Member of the House Committee on Transportation and Infrastructure Peter DeFazio (D-OR) and Ranking Member of the House Committee on Natural Resources Raúl M. Grijalva (D-AZ) sent a letter to U.S. Department of Homeland Security Inspector General (IG) John Roth requesting a comprehensive audit and investigation of a $300 million no-bid contract between the Puerto Rico Electric Power Association (PREPA) and Whitefish Energy Holdings, LLC.
“At the time PREPA entered into the Contract, Whitefish had two employees, and extremely limited experience with Federal contracting. In fact, it appears that only two Federal agencies have awarded contracts totaling about $1.5 million to Whitefish since its incorporation in 2015. This lack of experience raises serious concerns about Whitefish’s capacity to perform the $300 million contract in a manner sufficient to restore power to 3.4 million Puerto Ricans,” the Members wrote.
In addition, they requested that the IG investigate the Federal Emergency Management Agency’s (FEMA) or other Federal agencies’ participation in it, and whether the contract is an appropriate use of taxpayer dollars. The funding for this contract will likely come from FEMA’s Public Assistance program. DeFazio and Grijalva urge the IG to guarantee that costs to taxpayers associated with this contract are eligible, fair, and reasonable, especially given the availability of public utility workers to assist in rebuilding through a mutual aid agreement.
The Members also requested that the IG investigate whether political connections to the Trump Administration influenced the contracting process.
Here's a full copy of the letter.
Jen Adler (DeFazio), 202-225-4472
Adam Sarvana (Grijalva), 202-225-6065
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