波多黎各正取消有争议的电网维修合同

编辑:给力英语新闻 更新:2017年10月30日 作者:纽约时报(By ADAM POPESCU)

白鱼能源公司的工人在波多黎各修复电线(2017年10月15日)
白鱼能源公司的工人在波多黎各修复电线(2017年10月15日)

波多黎各的电力公司表示,正在取消与蒙大拿州的一家能源公司签订的3亿美元的合同,该公司曾被雇用以恢复遭到飓风蹂躏的波多黎各的电力供应。

PREPA公司首席执行官拉莫斯(Frederick Ramos)表示,与白鱼能源公司签订的合同引起的争议“非常让人分心,……对我们已经在做的工作有不利影响。”

拉莫斯说,白鱼能源公司将完成两条输电线的修复工作,得到报酬,然后回家。

在一个月前遭到飓风破坏的美国领地波多黎各的总督,星期天要求立刻取消一个关于恢复这个加勒比海岛电力供应的合同,得到这个合同的小公司受到越来越多的质疑。

总督里卡多·罗塞罗表示,波多黎各的电力公司董事会应该撤销与美国西部蒙大拿州的一家新成立的维修公司白鱼能源公司(Whitefish Energy Holdings)签署的3亿美元的合约,尽管他在几天之前曾为这个合同辩护。当初授予这个合同,没有经过正常的,允许其他公司竞争的公开招标程序。

他表示,在电力行业、国会和联邦紧急事务管理局提出批评之后,与白鱼能源公司的合同已成为一个让人分心的问题。

罗塞罗说,到目前为止,已经至少向该公司支付了800万美元,但是“不能有任何分心,不能改变在波多黎各尽快恢复电力的承诺。”

他要求当局派出纽约和佛罗里达州的电力员工帮助恢复电力。

白鱼能源公司在社交媒体脸书发布声明说,该公司的合同被取消, “令人失望”,自从10月2日开始工作以来,已将350名工人带到波多黎各,已经完成了两条主要输电线路的主要工作。

合同疑云

华盛顿的一些民主党议员质疑川普行政当局在授予合同方面可能产生的影响。白鱼能源公司总部在蒙大拿州的白鱼镇,那里是内政部长瑞安·辛克的家乡。辛克的儿子在夏天曾为这个公司工作。

亚利桑那州民主党议员巴罗·格里哈尔瓦(Raul Grijalva)说,国会需要了解为什么那个公司得到合同,有没有“成本效益比”更好的选择。一些批评者说,波多黎各应该选择使用经常在自然灾害后进行大规模维修工作的电力互助网络。

国土安全部表示,已经开始调查当初授予合同的问题,并将寻找任何“不适当的关系”。

波多黎各的电力公司PREPA的首席执行官拉莫斯说,联邦紧急事务管理局批准了这个交易。 但联邦紧急事务管理局(FEMA)否认这一点,内政部长瑞安·辛克(Zinke)也否认此事与自己有关。

他说:“我与白鱼能源公司在波多黎各获得合同完全没有任何关系。” “不诚实的媒体或政治工作者企图把我和这个合同联系起来,说我施加了影响的任何说法,都是完全没有根据的。”

拉莫斯表示,白鱼能源公司迄今做得非常出色。他表示欢迎联邦政府对其合同进行调查,他还说肯定没有违法行为。

Puerto Rico to Cancel Controversial Contract With Firm Restoring Electricity

Puerto Rico's electric power company says it is canceling the $300 million contract with a Montana energy company hired to restore power to the storm-ravaged island.

Earlier on Sunday Puerto Rico Governor Ricardo Rossello had called for the contract to be pulled.

PREPA chief Ricardo Ramos calls the controversy surrounding the contract with Whitefish Energy "an enormous distraction ... negatively impacting the work we're already doing."

Ramos said Whitefish will complete work on fixing two transmission lines, get paid off, then go home.

Hurricane Maria devastated Puerto Rico last month. Between 70 and 80 percent of the island still does not have power. Ramos said finding someone to take over from Whitefish will delay complete restoration for about two months.

One option is for state utility workers from New York and Florida to go to Puerto Rico as part of a mutual agreement for power companies to come to the aid of others in an emergency.

Whitefish is a tiny Montana energy company, less than two years old and with only two full-time employees. The rest were hired specifically for the Puerto Rico job.

In a statement posted to Facebook, Whitefish said it was "disappointed in the decision" by Rossello to cancel the company's contract. The company said it had completed significant work on two main transmission lines by bringing 350 workers to Puerto Rico since it began work on October 2. Whitefish said it would have had more than 500 lineman on the island by this week.

Questions about contract

Questions have emerged in Washington and on Puerto Rico how and why a small, obscure company scored such a huge contract without the process that allows other companies to bid for the job at a lower price.

Montana is the home state of Ryan Zinke, President Donald Trump's interior secretary. Before appointment to Trump's Cabinet, Zinke was a Montana congressman. Also, Zinke's son worked for Whitefish over the summer.

The Department of Homeland Security said it has started an investigation of the Whitefish contract and will look for any "inappropriate relationships."

Ramos said the Federal Emergency Management Agency approved the Whitefish deal. FEMA denies this and Zinke also denies anything untoward.

"I had absolutely nothing to do with Whitefish Energy receiving a contract in Puerto Rico," he has stated. "Any attempts by the dishonest media or political operatives to tie me to awarding or influencing any contract involving Whitefish are completely baseless."

Ramos has said Whitefish has done an excellent job so far and said he welcomes a federal probe into its contract, saying he is sure nothing illegal took place.