Energy Geopolitics: Chinese wind power company sues President Obama

October 4, 2012

A Chinese company that was seeking to develop several wind power sites in close proximity to a US Navy weapons testing facility in Oregon had their projected halted by the Treasury Department’s Committee on Foreign Investment in the United States (CFIUS), which found the installations to be a national security risk.  After the CIFUS finding, the President issued an executive order to shut the projects down. Ralls Corporation filed suit to contest the decision last month, but recently added President Obama himself to the suit.

This is not traditional energy geopolitics – it does not concern unequal distributions of energy production, use and transportation and their effect on geostrategic decision making.  Rather, it seems to implicate the use of an energy company as a possible cover for espionage (although, to be clear, the claimed “national security issues” were left unspecified.   To be sure, private and public companies have  provided cover for spies for centuries, and many (if not all) major oil companies have long had a symbiotic relationship with their national intelligence agencies, but this is the first time I have seen a wind energy company even indirectly implicated.


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