The Puerto Rico Electric Power Authority's executive director Ricardo Ramos confirmed Sunday afternoon the energy company has canceled a $300 million contract with Montana-based Whitefish Energy following the governor's request earlier in the day.
Ramos told reporters in Puerto Rico they chose to cancel the agreement due to negative attention surrounding the deal, but said "it does not respond to the fact that there was something outside the law," according to a Spanish report of the briefing.
Ramos added the U.S. territory had not yet paid Whitefish.
On Sunday morning, Puerto Rico Gov. Ricardo Rossello called for the immediate cancellation of a controversial contract to rebuild the U.S. island territory's power lines.
Whitefish Energy Holdings, a company from Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke's hometown, was awarded the $300 million deal with the Puerto Rico Electric Power Authority earlier in October.
"The decision announced today is intended to reaffirm our commitment to transparency in the contracting process in the Government of Puerto Rico and to achieve the highest degree of efficiency possible in the restoration of the power grid of our island, in the shortest amount of time possible," Rossello said during a press conference Sunday morning.
Rossello said he has requested Florida and New York send more brigades and materials to the U.S. territory to make up for the potential cancellation.
"I have given instructions to immediately proceed with the necessary coordination with the states of Florida and New York, in order for brigades and equipment to arrive on the island," Rossello said.
The governor said he is working with Republican Gov. Rick Scott of Florida and Democratic Gov. Andrew Cuomo of New York to coordinate the assistance.
Rossello's proposed cancellation follows his order for an inspector general investigation into the contracting process.
In a statement, Whitefish Energy said they were disappointed in the decision.
"The decision will only delay what the people of Puerto Rico want and deserve —to have the power restored quickly and in the same manner their fellow citizens on the mainland experience after a natural disaster," the statement read.