The swamp becomes a toxic pool

Donald Trump said he’d drain the swap min Washington. Instead, in 10 months, the US is worse off in Washington – a toxic pool.

A small energy outfit from Montana, Whitefish Energy Holdings, that won a $300 million contract to help rebuild Puerto Rico’s tattered power grid had few employees of its own, so it did what the Puerto Rican authorities could have done: It turned to Florida for workers. Six electrical workers from Kissimmee are earning $42 an hour, plus overtime.

The senior power linemen from Lakeland are earning $63 an hour working. Their 40 co-workers from Jacksonville, also linemen, are making up to $100 earning double time, public records show. Other utility companies say they would charge up to $100/hour including labor, overhead, lodging, meals, etc.

Whitefish Energy Holdings, had a contract that allowed it to bill the Puerto Rican public power company, known as PREPA, $319 an hour for linemen, a rate that industry experts said was far above the norm even for emergency work – and almost 17 times the average salary of their counterparts in Puerto Rico. Whitefish claims the hourly amount includes overhead costs and premium pay to entice labour to come to Puerto Rico to work.

Two weeks after PREPA abruptly withdrew the contract from Whitefish following strong criticism by federal and congressional officials of the company’s expected ability to perform the work needed, more questions are being raised about the deal, including how much it will actually cost. Whitefish will keep repairing power lines until Nov. 30.

In the deal was $3 million for hotels and $80 a day for each employee for food. The company is also billing about $4,000 an hour to rent a helicopter; companies that specialize in transmission line construction said that price is more than double what they charge. Whitefish is also charging PREPA another $412 a day per worker for food and lodging.

PREPA is receiving federal government relief money. Multiple investigations are under way including from the FBI. 54 days later, the grid was working at 47.8 percent of capacity.

I’m in the wrong line of work….

 

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About ebraiter
computer guy

One Response to The swamp becomes a toxic pool

  1. ebraiter says:

    Whitefish has ties to those in the Trump administration. The owner is a friend of Ryan Zinke, Trump’s Interior secretary. He has a checkered past and has been engaged in very questionable behaviour since assuming his position as interior secretary. Donald Trump Jr. may have a stake in Whitefish.

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