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What the Hell Is the Deal with Whitefish Energy?

By Dustin Rowles | Politics | October 27, 2017 |

By Dustin Rowles | Politics | October 27, 2017 |

Most of you have probably never heard of Whitefish Energy, and until a few days ago, there was absolutely no reason we should have heard of it. It’s a tiny Montana energy company with no offices and only two full-time employees.

And then, it was given a $300 million contract to restore power in Puerto Rico, where still over 75 percent of residents do not have electricity. You know who discovered that? By accident! And it seems odd that a two-person firm with no connections to Puerto Rico and no history with jobs of this size would be awarded such a contract, doesn’t it?

In fact, a couple of days ago, the mayor of San Juan raised questions about it, too, and the social media person over at Whitefish Energy did not take kindly to that.

Screen Shot 2017-10-27 at 9.21.45 AM.jpg

How professional!

In the days since, people have started to dig. They have found some curious things. For instance, did you know that Whitefish Energy is funded by a company overseen by a man named Joe Colonnetta, who has contributed generously to the Trump campaign and to Trump PACs? Did you know that Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke — who hails from Whitefish — has ties to the Whitefish Energy CEO? Or that Zinke’s son has worked for Whitefish? That’s even more curious!

Seems like these subcontractors are paid handsomely, too. Their supervisors are paid $462 AN HOUR. Their lineman are paid $319 AN HOUR. I mean, I don’t know what the going rate is for a lineman, typically, but under this contract, they’re being paid $17,000 a week for 8 hour workdays. That’s in addition to the $332 each man gets for accommodations PER DAY.

That seems like a lot, doesn’t it?

You know what? The government should definitely look into those rates. That seems exorbitant. Someone should review that. Wait, what’s that? The government can’t?

Huh. Puerto Rico has enough problems after being ravaged by two hurricanes, and it looks like Donald Trump just decided to flood the swamps in Puerto Rico, too.

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Dustin is the founder and co-owner of Pajiba. You may email him here, follow him on Twitter, or listen to his weekly TV podcast, Podjiba.