President Obama has blocked a Chinese company from purchasing wind farms in northeastern Oregon. The president cited national security concerns at a nearby Navy facility, the Naval Weapons Systems Training Facility in Boardman, Ore.
The Chinese-owned Ralls Corporation will now have to divest its ownership or halt constuction of four wind projects. The wind farms are located near restricted air space where the navy tests new weapons in the Oregon desert.
In a written statement, a spokesman for the corporation says President Obama’s order is unjustified and will cost jobs in the area.
The Ralls Corporation has a subsidiary business in China that manufactures wind turbines.
The Oregon Department of Energy did not have a record of the Ralls Corporation or its proposed wind farms. Smaller wind projects fall under county jurisdiction. Morrow County was unable to produce records on Friday.
The Defense Production Act allows the president to stop foreign corporations from buying U.S. businesses, if there’s a perceived threat to national security. President George H. W. Bush was the last president to use the act. He blocked a Chinese corporation called Mamco Marketing in 1990.
Earlier this month, Ralls Corporation sued the Committee on Foreign Investment in the United States (CFIUS) to limit an injunction the committee had imposed on construction. The corporation dropped the lawsuit after CFIUS allowed the company to continue with pre-construction work. A person familiar with the dispute says Ralls Corporation will now amend the lawsuit to challenge both CFIUS and the president’s order.
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