Puerto Rico’s still in a shambles, two months after Hurricane Maria. FEMA has realized that the situation is still so dire that they’re planning to airlift residents to the U.S. mainland, all while the fallout continues over that shady Whitefish Energy contract and the quest to restore power to the entire island. Sadly, that task saw an enormous setback on Thursday when a major power line — which was repaired by Whitefish Energy before the cancellation of their contract — failed again.
CNN reports that this failure has “wiped out” electricity in San Juan and taken the island’s total power generation down from 40% to 18%. The Puerto Rico Electric Power Authority (PREPA) explains the happening as an unexplained “mechanical issue,” which they’re currently attempting to repair again.
Meanwhile, Whitefish Energy spokesperson Brandon Smulyan talked with Buzzfeed News in an attempt to ward off the fingers pointing in their direction. “None of the issues reported today with the outage have anything to do with the repairs Whitefish Energy performed,” Smulyan insisted.
However NBC News has verified that the Whitefish did in fact repair this same transmission line in which the failure occurred. This won’t quell the persistent scrutiny from those who wonder how a tiny Montana energy firm with only two full-time employees (and connections to Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke) managed to secure Puerto Rico’s $300 million energy contract.