Obama blocks Chinese firm’s Oregon wind farm projects [UPDATED]

By Neela Banerjee and Don Lee

Los Angeles Times

President Obama, in a rare move, blocked the acquisition by a Chinese-owned company of four wind farm projects next to a military base in Oregon.

In this June 19, 2012 file photo, President Barack Obama speaks as he attends a bilateral meeting with China’s President Hu Jintao during the G20 Summit, in Los Cabos, Mexico.

Obama cited in a presidential order issued Friday “credible evidence” that the company “might take action that threatens to impair the national security of the United States.”

The decision comes against the backdrop of a presidential race in which Obama and Republican opponent Mitt Romney have traded jabs over who would be more effective in answering the challenges the ascendant Chinese economy poses. The U.S. and China filed international trade complaints against each other this month, boosting tensions over economic issues.

The presidential order, the first of its kind since 1990, instructs Ralls Corp., whose owners are Chinese, to divest itself of four wind farm projects on Oregon land that it acquired this year. Ralls is affiliated with the Sany Group, a Chinese maker of wind turbines.

The wind farm sites are all in or near restricted airspace at the Naval Weapons Systems Training Facility in Boardman, Ore., according to a statement by the Treasury Department, which chairs the interagency Committee on Foreign Investment in the United States that oversees such transactions. The committee initially recommended against allowing the transaction in July. But only the president can halt an acquisition.


UPDATE:  Obama Sued Over Wind-Farm Project/The Wall Street Journal

Also: New Wind Farm Is Nation’s Largest, Means More Clean Energy, Jobs and Idaho Utility and Wind Power Generators Still Battling Over Wind Energy Curtailment/Renewable Energy World

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