Monday, October 30, 2017

'Toontime: Whitefish Stinks

BC Idonwanna sez: Look'em like beached whale!
Update: Amid heavy political fallout over the contract, Puerto Rico's governor cancelled Whitefish Energy Holding's sweetheart deal to repair the grid yesterday. 69.5% of the island is still without power after six weeks. Cancellation of the contract will further delay repairs. The Army Corps of Engineers said it will increase the size of Fluor Corp.'s contract from $600 million to $840 million to insure the "continued execution of the critical repair and restoration". The Army awarded Fluor the original repair contract while PREPA dealt directly with Whitefish.
{27.10.17}Its not the Brooklyn Bridge, but it is close. How a two-person company from tiny Whitefish, Montana (pop.~7,000) was awarded a $300 million contract to service and repair Puerto Rico's hurricane ravaged electrical grid is something of a Washington-style 'mystery'.  Considering the nation's capital was built on a swamp, the mystery is definitely appropriate; the fact that Whitefish is the hometown of Trump's Secretary of the Interior Ryan Zinke whose son has worked for the company is simply coincidence! There is where the Brooklyn Bridge comes in.

Daryl Cagle @ Cagle has dug out his dead fish cartoon yet again to depict the stink. There was no open bidding for the massive contract. According to the company's CEO, "We took the call and we are here. More accurately, the 280 subcontractors on the island are there and they will do the work. Hurricane Maria knocked out 80% of the island's electric utility. Whitefish will have to rebuild 100 miles of high-voltage transmission lines. Some companies were apparently concerned by the fact that PREPA, the local power authority, declared bankruptcy in July and is $9 billion in debt.