How Harry Reid has been pulling strings for Chinese solar energy company
Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D., Nev.) has been working to secure sweetheart deals for Chinese green energy firms, according to reports.
Reid, who last week hosted the fifth annual National Clean Energy Summit at the Bellagio Hotel and Casino in Las Vegas, has been “pulling strings behind the scenes” for months on behalf of ENN Mojave Energy, a Nevada subsidiary of the Chinese-owned ENN Group.
After more than two years of secret negotiations beginning in 2009, lawmakers in Clark County, Nevada, unanimously agreed to sell 9,000 acres of public land to ENN for the bargain price of just $4.5 million ($500 per acre) in December 2011.
The Las Vegas Review-Journal questioned the “steep discount” ENN received for the land, which had been previously appraised for between $30 million and $39 million. The arrangement also included a bundle of tax incentives for ENN.
Reid, who reportedly helped secure a series of state and federal waivers as part of the deal, was actively involved in the negotiations with ENN. In April 2011, he led a delegation of senators to China, where the lawmakers met with senior Chinese officials and toured a number of green energy facilities, including the ENN headquarters in Langfang, China.
Upon his return, Reid called on the United States to pursue “new opportunities to collaborate on and advance clean-energy deployment here and abroad.”
Several months later, ENN chairman Wang Yusuo spoke at Reid’s clean energy summit, calling for a “more open and comprehensive” partnership between China and the United States on green energy.