Whitefish Energy & The San Juan Mayor Are Quarreling About The Power Deal On Twitter
There's nothing new about prominent figures and companies expressing themselves openly on social media. At this point, it can be argued that it's de rigueur for them to put their views out on Twitter before holding a press conference. In fact, on Wednesday there was an argument between Montana's Whitefish Energy and San Juan Mayor Carmen Yulin Cruz about the deal the company landed to fix the power in Puerto Rico.
The exchange of testy words took place after the company released a statement in response to Cruz's comments in which she described the deal between Puerto Rico's Electric Power Authority and Whitefish Energy as "alarming" and went on to say, "The contract should be voided right away, and a proper process which is clear, transparent, legal, moral and ethical should take place."
Whitefish Energy Holdings wasn't exactly nationally known prior to these reports. The company's public image became more visible after it struck a deal with Puerto Rico in September. Whitefish Energy, which has two employees, sent subcontractors to visit the American territory that was recently ravaged by Hurricane Maria.
Cruz's cause for concern may be related to the fact that the small company has reported relations with Donald Trump's administration. According to BuzzFeed, there are ties between Whitefish Energy and Trump's interior secretary, Montana native Ryan Zinke. Beyond the reported association between the company and Trump's presidency, Cruz's primary concern was that the subcontractors may not have the required skills to handle Puerto Rico's needs in the wake of Maria.
We share frustration with Mayor Cruz on the situation in Puerto Rico, but her comments are misplaced. pic.twitter.com/rIzxIjOcfQ— Whitefish Energy (@WhitefishEnergy) October 25, 2017
In response to Cruz's "alarming" descriptor deployed for the company, Whitefish Energy took to Twitter and said, "We share the mayor's frustration with the situation on Puerto Rico, but her comments are misplaced. Whitefish has more than 300 workers on the island and that number is growing daily."
The statement went on, "We are making progress and doing work when others are not even here. We find her comments to be very disappointing and demoralizing to the hundreds of people on our team that have left their homes and families and have come here to help the people of Puerto Rico."
And that's when it all began.
1. Cruz Appears To View Whitefish Energy's Comment As Sexist
You would think I am the only one in the world that has commented on this. What is it about women having an opinion that irritates some? pic.twitter.com/XxGNLomjQy— Carmen Yulín Cruz (@CarmenYulinCruz) October 25, 2017
Shortly after Whitefish Energy issued their statement, Cruz appeared to have taken the company's response as a sexist remark. "You would think," Cruz tweeted, "I am the only one in the world that has commented on this. What is it about women having an opinion that irritates some?"
2. Cruz Zeroes In On "Misplaced" Comment From Whitefish Energy
If @WhitefishEnergy feels that asking for transparency is ”misplaced”, what are they afraid we will find.— Carmen Yulín Cruz (@CarmenYulinCruz) October 25, 2017
Cruz also demanded to know why the company thought her demand for transparency was "misplaced." She tweeted, "What are they afraid we will find."
3. Whitefish Energy Asks If They Should Send Their Workers Back Home
We’ve got 44 linemen rebuilding power lines in your city & 40 more men just arrived. Do you want us to send them back or keep working?— Whitefish Energy (@WhitefishEnergy) October 25, 2017
In response to Cruz's tweet, Whitefish Energy asked a peculiar question about its workers and whether Cruz wanted them gone. The company's Twitter account asked, "Do you want us to send them back or keep working?"
4. Cruz Slams Whitefish Energy's Question
@WhitefishEnergy implies that you will not treat the City of San Juan with the diligence it deserves. Thus admitting political motivations.— Carmen Yulín Cruz (@CarmenYulinCruz) October 25, 2017
Cruz took notice of the question posed by Whitefish Energy and appeared to have viewed it as political retribution for her comments. This, according to Cruz, indicated "political motivations" on part of the company.
5. Whitefish Energy Attempts Damage Control
Mayor, you called for our work to end. We do not want to leave the island without help. We’re committed to restoring power to Puerto Rico.— Whitefish Energy (@WhitefishEnergy) October 25, 2017
After posing their question which was quickly slammed by Cruz, Whitefish Energy attempted to do some damage control. "Mayor," the account said, "you called for our work to end. We do not want to leave the island without help. We're committed to restoring power to Puerto Rico."
Cruz's last comment was "Exactly!" after one Twitter user criticized Whitefish Energy for arguing with the mayor. The user asked, "Why are you arguing with someone on Twitter rather than, you know, restoring power to the island?" It doesn't seem like an unreasonable question.