Puerto RIco is still in need of relief, one month after a series of hurricanes devastated the population. About 80 percent of the island’s 3.4 million population is without power. The hurricane knocked down thousands of lines of an already outdated power grid. Many officials say the massive amounts of work to be done on the island is estimated to cost around $1 billion.

Recently a story has come out that the governor of Puerto Rico, Ricardo A. Rosello cancelled a deal with Whitefish energy that was contracted to help rebuild some of Puerto Rico’s powerlines. Gov. Rosello says that the deal had become too much of a distraction after criticisms and suspicion came on how Whitefish was chosen to get the $300 million dollar deal. Whitefish is a small Montana-based energy company and investigations revealed that it only has two full-time employees, despite the CEO of Whitefish Andy Techmanski saying they brought around 350 workers to Puerto Rico.

Suspicions were also raised at the connection that Whitefish has with the government. The CEO of Whitefish is from the same small town in Montana as the Interior Secretary, Ryan Zinke. Zinke’s son even worked for the company one summer. Citizens of Puerto Rico began throwing objects at the employees of Whitefish after believing that the deal was corrupt. All of the drama surrounding the deal is what led to Rosello’s decision to end it.

With the cancellation of the deal, it doesn’t change the dire conditions that the island is facing. The Puerto Rico Electric Power Authority also known as PREPA is only producing 30%  of its capacity.  Plus, the U.S. government has not been moving is a hasty manner to bring relief to the island. The Army Corps of Engineers, which was given responsibility for restoring power to the island, has been moving very slowly.

Gov. Rosello said, “The Corps of Engineers, honestly, has not played its role.” After having just seven crews on the island, while Rosello was under the impression that power would be restored in 40 days. In reference to the government’s response to Puerto Rico, President Trump is quoted as giving his administration a “10,” saying “I give ourselves a 10. We provided so much, so fast.”

There seems to be a miscommunication and inaction between the  U.S. government and the people of Puerto Rico. We can only hope that Puerto Rico gets the relief it deserves.

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