Over the course of the last week and a half, America has begun to find out about a very suspicious government contract signed with a tiny Montana firm, Whitefish Energy. The contract, which was reportedly worth as much as $300 million and sought to rebuild the electrical infrastructure on the island of Puerto Rico after Hurricane Maria’s devastation, is now being probed by members of Congress.
Whitefish Energy happens to be located in the hometown of Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke. To make matters worse, up until recently, the company had an annual revenue stream of just around $200,000 and employed just two people. Whitefish hardly sounds like a company capable of rebuilding the electrical grid for an entire city block, much less that of the entire island of Puerto Rico.
As questions mount, the actual contract between the US Government and Whitefish Energy has leaked, and these new documents certainly do not appear alleviate the concern and suspicion that many of us already have. Below you can find the entire contract in pdf form:
Some of the key elements of this contract, which stand out to us the most, are as follows:
– Each employee to receive $332.41 per day in accommodations
– Each employee to receive an additional $79.83 per day for food
– Each employee to be reimbursed $1,000 per one way flight to and from Puerto Rico
– There are 3 helicopters which will be used in which tax payers will reimburse Whitefish at the following hourly rates:
– Chinook helicopter airlift: $20,277/hour
– S61 helicopter airlift: $15,993/hour
– Passenger helicopter: $3,969/hour
– “In no event shall [government bodies] have the right to audit or review the cost and profit elements.”
– Puerto Rican government “waives any claim against contractor related to delayed completion of work.”
Does’t exactly sound like a fair deal for us taxpayers, does it? Let’s hear your thoughts in the comments section below.