McCaskill Questions FEMA Involvement in Draft Whitefish Contract

WASHINGTON – U.S. Senator Claire McCaskill, the top-ranking Democrat on the Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee, is continuing to seek answers from the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) about Whitefish Energy Holdings’ contract to repair Puerto Rico’s electrical grid following conflicting information from FEMA about the agency’s role in the Whitefish contract.

Originally, FEMA denied any involvement or funding of the Whitefish contract. However, after FEMA officials told Committee staff that “it is possible that FEMA funds will be used by Whitefish,” McCaskill wrote to FEMA for answers. Today McCaskill is expanding her request following discovery of a recent document indicating that FEMA reviewed a draft of the Whitefish contact.

“FEMA needs to provide a thorough, clear explanation of what role they played in the Whitefish contract,” McCaskill said. “It’s important that taxpayer dollars aren’t wasted and are being effectively used for disaster recovery, but that’s difficult to determine if we continue getting conflicting information about this contract.”

McCaskill’s latest request is for a briefing “to clarify the involvement of FEMA in reviewing the Whitefish draft contract” and answers to the questions she posed in an earlier request. McCaskill is seeking details on FEMA’s review of the draft Whitefish contract, if FEMA funding has been used to pay the Whitefish contract, and information on other contracts FEMA is involved with as part of disaster recovery efforts.

Earlier this year, McCaskill joined Committee Chairman Ron Johnson of Wisconsin to call for an investigation from the Department of Homeland Security Inspector General into the Whitefish contract. She also wrote to the Army Corps of Engineers earlier this month about nearly $1 billion it is awarding to contractors for repairing the electrical grid in Puerto Rico. The Senate Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee is responsible for oversight of disaster relief efforts.

Read McCaskill’s letter to FEMA HERE.