Pelosi Statement on the Whitefish Contract and Recovery Efforts in Puerto Rico

Oct 27, 2017
Press Release

Contact: Ashley Etienne/Henry Connelly, 202-226-7616

Washington, D.C. – Democratic Leader Nancy Pelosi released this statement following recent reports of a $300 million, no-bid contract awarded to Whitefish Energy Holdings and the news that the PROMESA Oversight Board has taken steps to assume control over the Puerto Rico Electric Power Authority:
“All Americans should be concerned about the highly suspect Whitefish contract and the circumstances under which it was negotiated.  We are deeply concerned both about why and how a small, inexperienced firm was tasked with the massive job of rebuilding Puerto Rico’s devastated electrical grid and why PREPA failed to activate the mutual aid network, which effectively came to the aid of Texas and Florida after the devastation of Hurricanes Harvey and Irma.  

“In light of these concerns, we also need to better understand whether FEMA and the Army Corp of Engineers were involved before the award of this contract, whether they are conducting appropriate oversight, and what if any role Secretary Zinke had in the award and management of the contract.  Democrats demand Congress and the appropriate Inspectors General exercise their oversight role to get to the bottom of this suspicious agreement and hold this Administration accountable for its dangerous lack of transparency in spending taxpayer money.

“Given these circumstances, it is appropriate that the PROMESA Board chose to step in and provide the management and oversight necessary to answer these questions on behalf of the American people.  A month after this devastating storm, millions of Americans are still facing a catastrophe of historic proportions with 75 percent of Puerto Ricans remaining without power.  More can and must be done to assist the American citizens of Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands to repair, recover, and rebuild for a more resilient future.”

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