WASHINGTON — Multiple congressional committees are investigating a $300 million contract awarded to a small Montana company in the hometown of Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke that was tapped to help restore Puerto Rico’s power grid.

The Puerto Rico Electric Power Authority awarded the contract to tiny Whitefish Energy Holdings to restore transmission and distribution lines damaged or destroyed during Hurricane Maria. The 2-year-old company had just two full-time employees when the storm hit last month.

In the House, leaders of the Natural Resources and Energy and Commerce committees sent letters Thursday seeking documents about the contract, saying circumstances surrounding the award raise troubling questions.

Meanwhile, Senate Energy and Natural Resources Chairman Sen. Lisa Murkowski, R-Alaska, vowed to hold a hearing on the issue. Two Democrats, Sens. Maria Cantwell of Washington state and Ron Wyden of Oregon, formally requested an investigation by the Government Accountability Office.

Cantwell and Wyden questioned whether the contract cost was inflated, especially since work crews provided under mutual-aid agreements from other public utilities were available but not used.

The lawmakers also complained about the “opaque and limited nature” of the bidding process conducted by the Puerto Rico authority and “contemporaneous communications” between Whitefish officials and senior members of the Trump administration, including Zinke.

The Interior Department has denied that Zinke, a former Montana congressman, played any role in the contract award. Zinke knows Whitefish CEO Andy Techmanski “because they both live in a small town where everyone knows everyone,” a spokeswoman said. Zinke’s son had a summer job at a Whitefish construction site.

Ricardo Ramos, the power authority’s executive director, said in a radio interview Thursday that Whitefish is doing an “excellent job,” adding that he has no intention of canceling the contract. “There’s been nothing illegal here,” Ramos said.

Nicole Daigle, a spokeswoman for Murkowski, said the Whitefish deal “is a very large contract for a relatively new and small company, and Sen. Murkowski intends to find out more about it.”

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