Amid the growing standoff between Nevada rancher Cliven Bundy and the federal government, reports are growing that Senate Majority Harry Reid’s little-known ties to a Chinese solar energy giant could be playing a major role in the confrontation.
Reid, D-Nev., and his oldest son, Rory, a former chairman of the Clark County, Nev., County Commission, are 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 is getting in the way of that project, according to documents formerly posted on the Bureau of Land Management’s government website but since removed.
The acting director of the Bureau of Land Management is Neil Kornze, a former senior policy advisor for Reid.
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 is necessary for the protection of gopher tortoises.