Thread: Small Montana Firm Lands Puerto Rico Power Deal

LeglizHemp - 10/25/2017 at 02:38 AM ntract/index.html

LeglizHemp - 10/26/2017 at 12:58 AM b0af27f5890ed7?ncid=inblnkushpmg00000009

LeglizHemp - 10/27/2017 at 07:55 PM

LeglizHemp - 11/10/2017 at 04:50 AM 04ebc6e4b05673aa585cbf?ncid=inblnkushpmg00000009

Muleman1994 - 11/10/2017 at 05:53 PM

Not any more.

The failed Puerto Rico Electric Power Authority awarded the contract and that contract has been cancelled.

In the meantime The FBI has opened two investigations into the corruption by PR politicians regarding the relief funds and hording of relief supplies again by the corrupt liberal politicians.

When The FBI announced the investigations the FEMA Director Brock Long was also standing on the podium and when asked by the press he confirmed that FEMA had notified The FBI of the problems with the PR politicians.

Muleman1994 - 11/19/2017 at 11:14 PM

C.E.O. of Puerto Rico Power Authority Resigns

SAN JUAN, P.R. — The chief executive of Puerto Rico’s troubled public electric company stepped down on Friday amid a two-month island-wide blackout and weeks of bruising public outcry over a costly contract to restore service.

The resignation of Ricardo L. Ramos, the chief executive of the Puerto Rico Electric Power Authority, known as Prepa, was effective immediately.

The governor, Ricardo A. Rosselló, told reporters that he accepted the resignation because Mr. Ramos had become a “distraction.” A spokeswoman for Mr. Rosselló said the governor had not asked for Mr. Ramos to step down.

“There is an investigation that we’ve called upon for the whole contracting situation,” Mr. Rosselló said in an interview. “The truth of the matter is that this decision was taken with the best interests of the people of Puerto Rico.”

Mr. Ramos’s resignation caps a years-long saga of dysfunction and mismanagement at Prepa, which filed for bankruptcy in July. Mr. Ramos, an engineer, had been at the helm of the company for six months when Hurricane Maria destroyed the island’s poorly maintained power grid on Sept. 20.


Puerto Rico Cancels Whitefish Energy Contract to Rebuild Power Lines OCT. 29, 2017

Puerto Ricans Ask: When Will the Lights Come Back On? OCT. 19, 2017

After Doomed Whitefish Deal, Puerto Rico Asks Congress for $94 Billion NOV. 14, 2017

The Lineman Got $63 an Hour. The Utility Was Billed $319 an Hour. NOV. 12, 2017

He immediately came under withering criticism and congressional and federal review for awarding a $300 million contract to a small private company from Montana, Whitefish Energy Holdings, to help repair the grid. Prepa had agreed to pay $319 an hour for electrical linemen; the average salary in Puerto Rico for that work is $19 an hour. The authority later canceled the contract, even while defending it.

Mr. Ramos faced a skeptical Senate hearing on Tuesday. Lawmakers were hesitant to approve the governor’s request for $94 billion in aid while questions remained unanswered about the power grid contract. Mr. Ramos told lawmakers that there had been no kickbacks, but acknowledged that the company had long been rife with political patronage, and that up to half of the employees were the family members of politicians.

Mr. Ramos has given various contradictory explanations for why he chose Whitefish over mutual aid agreements with other utility companies, which are customary after disasters.

He told The New York Times last month that he preferred Whitefish because he expected the United States Army Corps of Engineers to pay the company, which meant the bankrupt utility would not have to front any of the money for repairs. Under mutual aid agreements, Prepa would have to pay for the work and then seek reimbursement from the Federal Emergency Management Agency.

“This is a cash flow problem for Prepa,” he said.

But Mr. Ramos told legislators on Tuesday that he went with the private company because he did not have the resources to find lodging for workers borrowed from other utilities. But emails released this week by the House Committee on Natural Resources show that Whitefish could not find housing, either.

“There has to be some level of corruption. Otherwise, how can somebody be so incompetent?” said Ramon J. Cruz, a former member of Puerto Rico’s energy commission who has been following the issue closely.

It had been a rough week for Mr. Ramos.

On Monday, The New York Times reported that some of the subcontractors Whitefish had hired to do the work — people Prepa could have hired itself — were earning just $42 an hour. At the Senate hearing on Tuesday, Mr. Ramos fended off accusations of price gouging.

On Wednesday, Mr. Ramos and the governor proudly hailed an important milestone: The company had finally reached 50 percent of its power capacity. Minutes later, a key line failed, again plunging the northern half of the island into darkness. Another line failed on Thursday.

Nearly two months after the storm, the grid is generating power at 45 percent of capacity. Most homes are without power and traffic lights remain out. Several hospitals are still running on generators and thousands of small businesses are closed.

On Friday, a local newspaper reported that Mr. Ramos had hired a friend who was once implicated in a federal criminal case to help advise the company. Mr. Ramos posted a cheerful technical update in a video on Facebook defending the consultant, whom he described as an experienced electrical engineer. Twenty minutes later, the company announced that Mr. Ramos had quit.

“It’s shocking that it took so long,” said Austin Evers, executive director of American Oversight, a liberal watchdog group that is investigating the contract. “And I also think it’s critical that investigations continue, because it’s not credible that Mr. Ramos was the only person involved in this.”

Prepa is the largest of Puerto Rico’s many government enterprises, responsible for $9 billion of the government’s $74 billion debt. It was also the first branch of the government to go broke, running out of cash in 2014. Since then, its lenders have kept it afloat with money to buy fuel and repay its older debts.

The company provides free power to Puerto Rico’s municipalities, in exchange for not having to pay local property taxes. For years it told investors the municipalities were paying cash for the power, creating the illusion that it had plenty of money to repay its bonds. The Securities and Exchange Commission is investigating the disclosures as a possible securities fraud.

jkeller - 11/20/2017 at 02:16 AM

So the company that the Secretary of the Interior recommended because his son worked for them was exposed to be as corrupt as the Zinke's corrupt failed boss's presidency. I am shocked!

Muleman1994 - 11/22/2017 at 03:57 AM

So the company that the Secretary of the Interior recommended because his son worked for them was exposed to be as corrupt as the Zinke's corrupt failed boss's presidency. I am shocked!

Yea, that is the lie the corrupt liberal media was telling in their usual attempt to tie a fiasco to the Trump administration and of course you fell for it.

The Puerto Rico Electric Power Authority was solely responsible for sourcing and contracting the Montana firm.

Incompetence brought to you by the "progressives", aka Democrats, that run Puerto Rico.

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