Everyone Is Freaking Out About Puerto Rico's Whitefish Energy Scandal And Here's Why

On September 20th, a whopping forty or so days ago, Hurricane Maria decimated Puerto Rico, leaving nearly the entire island without power. And like, that’s where the situation still stands. 40 days without power or clean water. This is what we in the business call “a fucking disaster.” Now, if this had happened anywhere that white people live in abundance on the mainland U.S., Donald Trump would have flown his fat ass out there and made sure the entire world watched as he flipped a ceremonial switch that returned electricity to the whole country. But because Puerto Rico is full of Puerto Ricans (aka American citizens), our President and the White House have essentially abandoned them, turning this ugly situation into the longest blackout in US history. After six weeks, 70% of the island is still without power.

So yeah, it’s just another historic landmark for old Donny.

Last week, it looked like things were finally going to start getting better. The Puerto Rico Electric Power Authority (PREPA) struck a contract with Whitefish Energy Holdings to start repairing the 2,400 miles of transmission lines and 30,000 miles of distribution lines that Maria took down. But, because this is 2017, nothing can have a happy ending.

Turns out this whole “Whitefish” company was actually a total rando, which raised eyebrows as to how tf they scored such a huge energy contract. The reasons the Whitefish deal is actually shady af are as follows:

1) Usually when hurricanes and other natural disasters like this go down, the affected area gets mutual aid from utility companies from nearby areas and the deal is typically worked out before the storm hits. In this case, PREPA waited six days until after the storm was done to sign a contract with Whitefish, which is located in Montana, aka not close to Puerto Rico at all.

2) After some light Googling investigation, it was discovered that Whitefish has a grand total of two full-time employees. My Etsy shop has more employees than that (shout out to my interns Bryanne and Sasha! Get back to work!).

3) The company has two ties to the White House, which is two too many in this day and age. Whitefish is coincidentally based in the small hometown of Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke and is funded by a major donor to Trump. No red flags here.

4) Rebuilding the entire country of Puerto Rico is a big undertaking, so this is a $300-million-dollar contract. The largest contract that Whitefish has signed before this? 1.3 million. That’s like upgrading your wardrobe from Forever 21 to Givenchy. It’s a huge step up, and honestly you may not be ready for the responsibility of a couture lifestyle. 

So it only took three minutes of basic Googling for people to start to realize how sketch this mystery contract deal was. The badass mayor of San Juan, known for inciting a full-blown Trump Twitter rant by having the gall to ask that maybe America show up and start helping people, incited another Twitter battle with Whitefish itself by calling for the nullification of this contract.

Members of the House, the Senate, Puerto Rican officials, and even FEMA jumped on board the “wtf is going on” train and after a week’s worth of criticism, and the governor of Puerto Rico cancelled the contract. But wait, it gets better.

Now the FBI is involved, because everyone is very curious as to how this small, nothing company in the middle of nowhere Montana, with two employees and ties to the President, managed to secure a giant federal deal like this in the first place.

This means two things 1) Puerto Rico still doesn’t have anyone to rebuild it’s fucking power grid, and 2) There is yet another federal investigation brewing with ties to the Trump administration. How many rooms like this exist in FBI Headquarters with the Donald’s face at the middle? Asking for a friend.  Also like, make sure you keep donating to Puerto Rico relief. Lord knows our government won’t be helping any time soon. 

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