A spokesman for Whitefish Energy, the small Montana utility company that won a $300 million no-bid contract to help restore power to Puerto Rico, on Friday morning insisted that the company obtained the contract fairly.
The company is based in Whitefish, Montana, the hometown of Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke, which has prompted scrutiny of the contract. The company is also reportedly financed by major donors to the Trump campaign. Puerto Rico Gov. Ricardo Rossello asked the Department of Homeland Security’s inspector general to investigate how Whitefish Energy won the contract.
Whitefish Energy spokesman Ken Luce told MSNBC’s Stephanie Ruhle that the company won the contract because they were quick to travel to Puerto Rico to seek one.
“This is really a very simple effort by an entrepreneur to get on the plane, fly to Puerto Rico, talk to PREPA when no one else would,” Luce said, referring to the Puerto Rico Electric Power Authority.
When Ruhle noted that other companies were interested in the contract, Luce acknowledged that just one other company had expressed interest in the bid when Whitefish traveled to Puerto Rico. He also said that Whitefish has managed projects of a similar size before — projects costing somewhere between $200 million and $250 million.