Angry Puerto Ricans Attack Whitefish Energy Workers; Canceling Contract Will Delay Power 2 to 3 Months: Official
Congratulations liberals. You’ve just screwed Puerto Rico out of getting electricity restored for another two or three months and you’re endangering power workers who are now having rocks and bottles thrown at them by Puerto Ricans angered at press reports about the Whitefish Energy contract even though the contracting authority said Whitefish was doing “excellent” work.
NBC News buried the lede in their report on the government of Puerto Rico cancelling the $300 million contract with the small Montana firm Whitefish Energy to restore power to Puerto Rico after the entire island lost power after two powerful back to back Hurricanes, Irma and Maria, hit in September destroying the poorly maintained electric grid.
(Puerto Rico Electric Power Authority) PREPA CEO Ricardo Ramos said during a news conference Sunday afternoon that he accepted the governor’s recommendation and would be writing a letter to the board of directors “asking for a resolution that will allow me to cancel the contract,” adding that the contract was not officially canceled as of yet.
Ramos added that the plan was for Whitefish to “finish what they started,” which was work on two transmission lines on the island.
He added that he hoped to speak with officials at Whitefish within the next few hours and that the contract required a 30-day notice for cancellation.
“Even if I cancel today it becomes effective in 30 days,” he added.
Earlier Sunday, Gov. Rosselló said he was calling on PREPA to cancel the contract out of public interest.
…Ramos said he will follow the governor’s suggestion and will move to cancel the contract. Ramos said that the move to cancel the deal comes after the controversy over the contract, but did not signal that there was anything “outside of the law” with the agreement.
He added that Whitefish had been doing a great job but that political distractions had snowballed.
Ramos said the cancellation will not stop any work the company currently has in progress, but could delay other grid-restoration efforts by 10 to 12 weeks. He also said it would cost PREPA additional money to demobilize the contract.
Whitefish Energy said in a statement Sunday evening that it was “very disappointed” that the governor asked PREPA to cancel the contract, “which led to PREPA’s announcement this afternoon.”
“The decision will only delay what the people of Puerto Rico want and deserve — to have the power restored quickly in the same manner their fellow citizens on the mainland experience after a natural disaster,” the company said in the statement. “We will certainly finish any work that PREPA wants us to complete and stand by our commitments knowing that we made an important contribution to the restoration of the power grid since our arrival on the island on October 2.”…
A video clip of Ramos’ press conference by NBC shows Ramos saying that Puerto Ricans angered by news reports about the Whitefish Energy contract have been attacking workers the past four days, throwing “stones” and “bottles” at them, adding to things he must be concerned with. Ramos also said Whitefish was doing “excellent” work a and “great job” and there was no need to cancel the contract but the media drove public opinion to attack workers and force the cancellation.
Way to go liberals. Good luck getting mainland power workers to leave their homes and fly to an island where the locals attack you for doing your job and the government may cancel your contract at anytime depending on the political winds.
— Whitefish Energy (@WhitefishEnergy) October 24, 2017
— AEE (@AEEONLINE) October 24, 2017
— Whitefish Energy (@WhitefishEnergy) October 25, 2017
— Whitefish Energy (@WhitefishEnergy) October 27, 2017
— Whitefish Energy (@WhitefishEnergy) October 30, 2017
Photos and video of work done this past week.