The Chinese executives who were thwarted by President Obama in their pursuit of wind farm ownership have named him as a defendant in an amended complaint filed Oct. 1 in the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia.
The complaint stems from President Obama's Sept. 28 decision to nullify Ralls Corp.'s purchase of four wind farm projects in Oregon, which are located in the vicinity of a U.S. naval facility's restricted airspace.
Obama, acting on a recommendation from the Committee on Foreign Investment in the United States (CFIUS), issued an order prohibiting the acquisition and ownership of the wind farms by the Ralls Corp., and directed the company to divest the interest it acquired in the farms this year.
According to the complaint, Ralls says that Obama acted in an unlawful and unauthorized manner,’ and that ‘CFIUS and the President have unconstitutionally deprived Ralls of its property absent due process. And by unfairly and unjustly singling out Ralls for differential treatment compared to similarly situated parties, CFIUS and the President have violated Ralls's right to equal protection of the law.’
Ralls Corp. is owned by Dawei Duan and Jialiang Wu, executives at Chinese manufacturer Sany Group. According to Ralls, the company's primary business purpose is to develop wind energy products for wind turbines manufactured by Sany.
In his decision, Obama said, ‘There is credible evidence that leads me to believe that Ralls Corporation, the Sany Group, a Chinese company affiliated with Ralls; Dawei Duan and Jialing Wu might take action that threatens to impair the national security of the United States.’
After the decision was announced, Ralls said it was confident that the courts would vindicate its rights under the law and the Constitution.
However, some industry watchers, such as Joshua Zive, senior counsel at Bracewell Giuliani, tells NAW that a court could have a hard time in overturning the ruling given that CFIUS and the president have already weighed in on the issue.