Puerto Rico Asks for Help With Power Grid After Moving to End Contentious Deal

  • Island said it plans to scrap contract with tiny company
  • $300 million deal with Whitefish Energy drew broad scrutiny

Puerto Rico's Governor Calls on Trump for Help

Puerto Rico is asking U.S. utilities to help the island repair its devastated electricity system after moving to scuttle the controversial $300 million contract awarded to a tiny company based in Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke’s Montana hometown.

Christian Sobrino, Governor Ricardo Rossello’s representative on the federal board that’s overseeing the territory’s finances, told the panel Tuesday that the island has requested help from the American Public Power Association and New York’s utility. He said the government plans to appeal to electricity providers in Florida and other states as well.

The Puerto Rico Electric Power Authority’s executive director said this week that it plans to cancel its contract with Whitefish Energy Holdings LLC amid growing scrutiny over why such a crucial contract was awarded to a company that had just two employees. Puerto Rico’s power system was so heavily damaged during Hurricane Maria in September that only one third of the electricity has been restored.

Governor Ricardo Rossello asked Prepa’s board to invoke a cancellation clause on Sunday and said the island was requesting aid from New York and Florida.

— With assistance by Jonathan Levin

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