FEMA disavows Puerto Rico power contract with Montana company am - Spokane, North Idaho News & Weather KHQ.com

FEMA disavows Puerto Rico power contract with Montana company amid investigations

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FEMA disavows Puerto Rico power contract with Montana company amid investigations
WASHINGTON (AP) - The Federal Emergency Management Agency says it had no involvement in the decision to award a $300 million contract to help restore Puerto Rico's damaged power grid. The contract went to a tiny Montana company from the hometown of Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke.
    
FEMA said in a statement Friday that any language in the contract saying the agency approved the deal with Whitefish Energy Holdings is inaccurate. FEMA says it hasn't approved any reimbursement requests from the Puerto Rico Electric Power Authority for money to cover the ongoing repairs to the island's power grid following Hurricane Maria.
    
FEMA says its initial review raises significant concerns about how Whitefish got the deal and whether the contracted prices are reasonable.
    
Multiple congressional committees have now launched investigations into the contract.

(Copyright 2017 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)
 

Congressional committees probe Puerto Rico contract award   
WASHINGTON (AP) - Multiple committees in the House and Senate are investigating a $300 million contract awarded to a small Montana company to help restore Puerto Rico's damaged power grid.
    
The Puerto Rico Electric Power Authority awarded the contract to tiny Whitefish Energy Holdings to restore transmission and distribution lines damaged or destroyed during Hurricane Maria. The 2-year-old company had just two full-time employees when the storm hit last month.
    
In the House, leaders of the Natural Resources and Energy and Commerce committees have sent letters seeking documents about the contract, saying circumstances surrounding the award raise troubling questions.
    
Meanwhile, Senate Energy and Natural Resources Chairwoman Lisa Murkowski vows to hold a hearing on the issue. Two Senate Democrats have formally requested an investigation by the Government Accountability Office.

(Copyright 2017 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)

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