Did Trump say that he will drain the SWAMP - He did not tell you that he will replace it with SHIT
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Did Trump say that he will drain the SWAMP - He did not tell you that he will replace it with SHIT

By Tim Aurora following x   2017 Oct 26, 12:22pm 514 views   4 comments   watch   sfw   quote     share    

ith more than 75 percent of Puerto Rico still without electricity in the wake of Hurricane Maria, lawmakers are calling for an investigation into why the island turned to a small, for-profit company instead of the mutual-aid network of public utilities usually called upon to coordinate power restoration after disasters.

Montana-based Whitefish Energy was awarded a $300 million Puerto Rico Electric Power Authority (PREPA) contract to repair downed transmission lines crisscrossing the mountains, the company confirmed to ABC News.
1   Tim Aurora   ignore (0)   2017 Oct 26, 6:12pm   ↑ like (0)   ↓ dislike (1)   quote        

Hmm. What say you Trumpites
2   HEY YOU   ignore (7)   2017 Oct 26, 7:54pm   ↑ like (0)   ↓ dislike (0)   quote        

Trumpism is a cult.
Greed's the motto.
3   anonymous   ignore (null)   2017 Oct 26, 8:34pm   ↑ like (0)   ↓ dislike (0)   quote        

Tim you are taking anti trump propaganda bs too seriously.

Media is partisan, no truth to them.

Tim Aurora says
Hmm. What say you Trumpites
4   Feux Follets   ignore (0)   2017 Oct 31, 6:13pm   ↑ like (0)   ↓ dislike (0)   quote        

There’s a Shady Puerto Rico Contract You Didn’t Hear About. A separate $200 million contract has faced little scrutiny, but may ultimately be even more scandalous for what it says about the effort to rebuild the island in the aftermath of Hurricane Maria.

The deal was inked with a company called Cobra Acquisitions LLC, which didn’t even exist until this year. It’s a subsidiary of an Oklahoma-based fossil fuel company, suggesting that neither the Puerto Rican Electric Power Authority nor the federal government has much interest in seizing the opportunity presented by the storm to rebuild Puerto Rico in a sustainable way that relies on renewable energy rather than imported oil.

Unlike the Whitefish contract, the Cobra deal with PREPA involved heavy input from the Federal Emergency Management Agency, which — according to a recent conference call convened by Mammoth Energy Services — was “in the room” and there “every step of the way” as it was being meted out so as to be in line with the agency’s reimbursement requirements. (Neither FEMA nor PREPA representatives have responded to The Intercept’s multiple requests for comment.)

“We expect this to be a credit to our corporate margin,” an unidentified Mammoth executive (likely Chief Financial Officer Mark Layton) said on the conference call. “Quite honestly, we wouldn’t have entered this contract if we didn’t think we’d get paid.”

“The Cobra contract is less flashy and less obviously crazy,” Cathy Kunkel, an energy analyst at the Institute for Energy Economics and Financial Analysis, told The Intercept. “But together with [the Whitefish contract] shows the nexus of PREPA with oil and gas interests — the kind of companies that are go-to companies for PREPA.”

Mammoth, Cobra’s parent firm, is primarily an oilfield services company, with several smaller subsidiaries selling a range of support offerings to fracking and other fossil fuel extraction operations. HBC Investments, one of Whitefish’s major financiers, owns several fossil fuel holdings. PREPA itself, like most island energy systems, is also inordinately dependent on imported oil, generating 47.4 percent of its power from that source alone.

PREPA is currently $9 billion in debt and gives more than $1 billion a year to off-island oil and gas companies. Yet even as the utility’s leadership has acknowledged that its fiscal sustainability relies on a transition away from oil, its plan has been to transition not to distributed renewables — which are more resilient to storms — but to centralized natural gas. In 2010, Puerto Rico’s legislature set out a plan to get a full 12 percent of energy from renewables by 2015. As of 2015, just 3.3 percent of its power was derived from clean energy. Nearly a third of the island’s generating capacity, meanwhile, came from natural gas, and PREPA’s plan for 2035 includes the construction of a $400 million liquid natural gas import terminal. Currently, all signs point to PREPA rebuilding its energy system back to the pre-storm status quo — or worse.

There are reasons to be concerned about Cobra beyond its ties to the fossil fuel industry, though. Cobra’s creation is Mammoth’s first foray into the utility sector, the result, Mammoth CEO Arty Straehla said on the call, of their expectation that it would produce a “stable cash flow” and the “potential for significant growth,” adding later that the utility business is “less cyclical” and “less capital-intensive” than its other work. Earlier in the year, he said, “we hired an experienced management team with an average of 25 years of industry experience at much larger companies to begin the process of entering the energy infrastructure business,” officially forming Cobra in the second quarter of 2017. Straehla said Cobra is currently operating 58 fleets across the United States and employs 275 “highly trained professionals” as of October. They hope to have as many as 500 personnel in Puerto Rico in the near future.

Cobra, then, is an even younger firm than Whitefish, founded when Mammoth acquired two small transmission and distribution companies for around $8 million total, at which point Mammoth “quickly deployed capital to expand,” Straehla said on the call. According to Mammoth’s most recent SEC filings, one of those companies — the only one acquired before the filing date — is Higher Power Electrical LLC, based in Plainview, Texas. According to the Better Business Bureau, Higher Power had been operating for five years before its acquisition by Mammoth and its owner’s name is listed as Robert Malcolm. On the conference call, Straehla noted that another firm that was part of the acquisition was based on the East Coast.

Alongside FEMA, Mammoth negotiated a $15 million payment from PREPA upfront and will be paid biweekly. The initial contract is for 120 days of work, though Mammoth stated repeatedly on the conference call that they expect that to be extended. “We hope,” Straehla said, “this leads to additional work in rebuilding the infrastructure after the emergency situation.”


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