Desert showdown blows lid off long-standing plans with the Chinese
Jerome R. Corsi,
NEW YORK – When Nevada rancher Cliven Bundy refused to take his cattle off land the federal government demanded for the habitat of an endangered desert tortoise, it focused the nation’s attention on an arena Sen. Harry Reid, D-Nev., may have preferred to be kept quiet.
An investigative report published last week by Infowars.com drew a connection between Senate Majority Leader Reid’s involvement with Chinese energy giant ENN, Chinese efforts to build massive solar facilities in the Nevada desert and the showdown between Bundy and the U.S. Bureau of Land Management, or BLM.
It wasn’t the first report to notice curious dealings involving the Chinese and America’s top Democrats.
On Jan. 20, 2013, WND warned Chinese government-backed economists were proposing a plan to allow Chinese corporations to set up “development zones” in the United States as part of a plan proposed by the Chinese government to convert into equity the more than $1 trillion in U.S. Treasury debt owned by the Chinese government.
The next day, Jan. 21, 2013, WND documented the Obama administration had begun to allow China to acquire major ownership interests in oil and natural gas resources across the USA.
China grabs oil interests in USA
The first major intrusion of China in the U.S. oil and natural gas market can be traced to the Obama administration decision in October 2009 to allow state-owned Chinese energy giant China Offshore Oil Corporation, or CNOOC, to purchase a multi-million dollar stake in 600,000 acres of South Texas oil and gas fields.
By allowing China to have equity interests in U.S. oil and natural gas production, the Obama administration reversed a policy of the Bush administration that in 2005 blocked China on grounds of national security concerns from a $18.4-billion dollar deal in which China planned to purchase California-based Unocal Corp.
China’s two, giant, state-owned oil companies acquiring oil and natural gas interests in the USA are CNOOC, 100-percent owned by the government of the People’s Republic of China, and Sinopec Group, the largest shareholder of Sinopac Corporation, an investment company owned by the government of the People’s Republic of China, incorporated in China in 1998, largely to acquire and operate oil and natural gas interests worldwide.
On March 6, 2012, the Wall Street Journal compiled a state-by-state list of the $17 billion in oil and natural gas equity interests CNOOC and Sinopec have acquired in the United States since 2010.
•Colorado: CNOOC gained a one-third stake in 800,000 acres in northeast Colorado and southwest Wyoming in a $1.27-billion pact with Chesapeake Energy Corporation.
•Louisiana: Sinopec has a one-third interest in 265,000 acres in the Tuscaloosa Marine Shale after a broader $2.5-billion deal with Devon Energy.
•Michigan: Sinopec gained a one-third interest in 350,000 acres in a larger $2.5-billion deal with Devon Energy.
•Ohio: Sinopec acquired a one-third interest in Devon Energy’s 235,000 Utica Shale acres in a larger $2.5-billion deal.
•Oklahoma: Sinopec has a one-third interest in 215,000 acres in a broader $2.5-billion deal with Devon Energy.
•Texas: CNOOC acquired a one-third interest in Chesapeake Energy’s 600,000 acres in the Eagle Ford Shale in a $2.16-billion deal.
•Wyoming: CNOOC has a one-third stake in northeast Colorado and southeast Wyoming after a $1.27-billion pact with Chesapeake Energy. Sinopec gained a one-third interest in Devon Energy’s 320,000 acres as part of a larger $2.5-billion deal.
On March 6, 2012, in a separate story, the Wall Street Journal described that China’s strategy implemented since 2010 by Fu Chengyu, who has served as chairman of both CNOOC and Sinopec, involved the following components: “Seek minority states, play a passive role, and, in a nod to U.S. regulators, keep Chinese personnel at arm’s length from advanced U.S. technology.”
Harry Reid and Chinese solar investments in Nevada
On April 3, 3012, Bloomberg reported Chinese billionaire Wang Yusuo, one of China’s richest citizens and the founder of Chinese energy giant ENN Group, had teamed up with Senate Majority Leader Reid to win incentives including land 113 miles southeast of Las Vegas that ENN sought to buy for $4.5 million, less than one-eighth of the land’s $38.6 million assessed value.
Bloomberg reported ENN intended to create solar energy farms on the Nevada land, despite the nearly 50 percent plunge in solar panel prices globally in the previous 15 months that led to the bankruptcy of solar equipment maker Solyndra LLC, which had received approximately $535 million in U.S. government loan guarantees.
Bloomberg further documented ENN had contributed $40,650 individually and through its political action committee to Sen. Reid over the previous three election cycles.
Subsequently, on Sept. 4, 2012, Breitbart.com reported lawyer Rory Reid, the son of Sen. Reid, had been appointed the primary representative for ENN Energy Group, fronting the bid by the Chinese company to build a $5-billion solar panel plant on a 9,000-acre Clark County desert plot in Laughton, Nevada.
A Reuters report published on Aug. 31, 2012, documented that Reid was recruited by ENN during a 2011 trip he took to China with nine other U.S. senators, supposedly to invite Chinese investment in the United States.
The Senate group accompanying Reid on his 2011 trip to China included six other Democrats and three Republicans: Richard Shelby, R-Ala.; Barbara Boxer, D-Calif.; Dick Durbin, D-Ill.; Mike Enzi, R-Wyo.; Chuck Schumer, D-N.Y.; Frank Lautenberg, D-N.J.; Johnny Isakson, R-Ga.; Jeff Merkley, D-Ore.; and Michael Bennet, D-Colo.
“A tortoise isn’t the reason why BLM is harassing a 67-year-old rancher,” blogger Dana Loesch wrote last week. “They want his land.”
Loesch pointed out that Reid has been accused by ranchers in Nevada of using the BLM to control Nevada land, over 84 percent of which is already owned by the federal government, and to pay back special interests, including his top donor, Harry Whittemore, who first urged Reid to have the habitat of the desert tortoise moved before he was convicted of violating federal election laws by illegally funneling $150,000 to Reid’s 2007 reelection campaign.
Confirmed by a 71-28 Senate vote on April 9, BLM chief Neil Kornze served as a former senior adviser to Reid before he joined BLM in 2011, serving for the past year as the agency’s principal deputy director, according to a CBS local television news report broadcast in Carson City, Nevada.
In 2012, BLM and the U.S. Department of Energy published a “Final Pragmatic Environmental Impact Statement (PEIS) for Solar Energy Development in Six Southwestern States” that Inforwars.com charged established the basis for allowing the endangered desert tortoise to migrate habitats, paving the way to put solar energy development projects on acreage that includes public land at dispute in the Bundy standoff over grazing rights.
Loesch’s analysis of the BLM’s actions was echoed at the Moapa Valley Town board meeting last Wednesday when one of the local citizens rose to give a stirring defense of Cliven Bundy and issue a warning to the BLM.
“They can throw an army of men around there … with sniper rifles on people just like you are, men, women and children … out there, who believe they have a right to be there,” he said.
“Maybe you believe in some other place that you believe you can be. Someday they’re gonna throw that army of men around you. And then somehow they feel like they got the right … they can drop a damn tripod in the ground and set a sniper rifle on it, so if you cross a line, they can put a bullet in you. Who the hell is the man behind that trigger? I wanna know … which one of you guys gives that guy the authority to throw that rifle down? And when he does, which one of us is he going to shoot?”
“Good God, didn’t he grow up in this country? Are we gonna give it up? This is a helluva lot bigger than Clive Bundy.”
The audience erupted in applause as the man concluded his speech.
“And when Clive decides to go back in there after his cows, and they’ve got orders to shoot anyone who goes in there, I’m gonna be with him.”
Someone in the crowd piped up, “Carrying a gun I hope.”
“No, no,” he said, “because them son of a bitches will fire the next shot heard around the world … and we will fire the rest!”