Amid the standoff between Nevada rancher Cliven Bundy and the federal government, reports are growing that Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid’s little-known ties to a Chinese solar energy giant could have played a role.
Reid, D-Nev., and his oldest son, Rory, a former chairman of the Clark County, Nev., County Commission, were both deeply involved in a plan by ENN Energy Group to build a huge solar farm in southern Nevada, according to a Reuters report from August 2012.
Land the Bundy family has been using for cattle ranching was getting in the way of that project, according to documents formerly posted on the Bureau of Land Management’s government website but since removed, according to Infowars.
It has also been reported that this particular deal is no longer on the table, but was part of the story in 2012.
The acting director of the Bureau of Land Management is Neil Kornze, a former senior policy advisor for Reid.
Here is a screenshot of one crucial document from Google’s cache.
The most interesting line might be:
“Non-Governmental Organizations have expressed concern that the regional mitigation strategy for the Dry Lake Solar Energy Zone utilizes Gold Butte as the location for offsite mitigation for impacts from solar development, and that those restoration activities are not durable with the presence of trespass cattle.”
The federal government’s story so far is that the whole showdown was necessary for the protection of gopher tortoises.
Here’s how The Blaze’s Dana Loesch puts it in “The Real Story of the Bundy Ranch”:
BLM has proven that they’ve a situational concern for the desert tortoise as they’ve had no problem waiving their rules concerning wind or solar power development. Clearly these developments have vastly affected a tortoise habitat more than a century-old, quasi-homesteading grazing area. If only Clive Bundy were a big Reid donor.
From the document purged from the BLM website, it’s clear there were more than tortoises at stake.
There was a $5 billion foreign energy project in the works, with Reid and his son directly involved.
And there was an American citizen and cattle rancher standing in the way.
Now, federal agents armed with guns and the full power of the federal government have engaged.
What could go wrong?
UPDATE: This story has been updated to reflect that the ENN Energy Group proposal is no longer on the table.
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