Nevada rancher Cliven Bundy performed a remarkable public service for America over the last couple weeks.
He exposed the utter ruthlessness, brutishness and Gestapo tactics of the federal government in dealing with honest, hard-working Americans who live off the land - our land.
Claiming Bundy's cattle ranching operation was endangering desert tortoises, the Bureau of Land Management treated him like he was Ted Bundy. I take that back. The serial rapist, mass murderer and necrophile got due process.
When Cliven Bundy's neighbors turned out to support him, as good American neighbors should, the BLM sent in helicopters, four-wheel-drive vehicles and an estimated 200 armed officers to deal with the cowboy and his family, threatening another Ruby Ridge or Waco-style slaughter.
But I don't think it was about tortoises. No, sir. In fact, with all the gear and manpower the BLM brought to Clark County to round up the cowboy and his cattle, they did more environmental damage to the area than Cliven Bundy ever could have dreamed of doing.
This was about something else.
It's always about something else.
Maybe - just maybe - it had to do with another Nevadan by the name of Harry Reid.
It seems the Senate majority leader has been doing favors for a Chinese energy giant ENN, which has plans to build massive solar facilities in that area - tortoises or no tortoises.
It seems the director of BLM is Reid's former senior adviser, Neil Kornze. BLM had posted on its website documents stating the agency wanted Bundy's cattle off of the land his family has worked for over 140 years in order to make way for solar panel power stations. The agency removed it when the standoff became national news.
"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 document states.
That would be the Chinese solar plant - the Management, or BLM.
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They were getting a mega-deal. On April 3, , Bloomberg reported Chinese billionaire Wang Yusuo, one of China's richest citizens and the founder of ENN, had teamed up with Harry 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.
But the story gets better. Harry Reid's son, Rory Reid, was the chief representative for a Chinese energy firm planning to build a $5-billion solar plant on public land in Laughlin, Nev.
A Reuters report stated: "[Reid] and his oldest son, Rory, are both involved in an effort by a Chinese energy giant, ENN Energy Group, to build a $5 billion solar farm and panel manufacturing plant in the southern Nevada desert. Reid has been one of the project's most prominent advocates, helping recruit the company during a 2011 trip to China and applying his political muscle on behalf of the project in Nevada. His son, a lawyer with a prominent Las Vegas firm that is representing ENN, helped it locate a 9,000-acre (3,600-hectare) desert site that it is buying well below appraised value from Clark County, where Rory Reid formerly chaired the county commission."
And there's an even bigger story of scandal and corruption still beneath this show of force by the BLM, orchestrated by Harry Reid.
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.
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 an $18.4-billion 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."
But back to Cliven Bundy and Harry Reid.
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.
And, yes, money exchanged hands between ENN and Reid. The Chinese energy company contributed $40,650 individually and through its political action committee to Sen. Reid over the previous three election cycles.
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.
Thank you, Cliven Bundy for bringing all of this to the public's attention.
America is with you.
I am with you.
Enough is enough.
Thank you for exposing how crony capitalism works hand in hand with phony environmentalism.
Indeed, as Kris Kristofferson once wrote, "Freedom's just another word for nothing left to lose."
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