ARLINGTON, Va., Sept. 9, 2020 /PRNewswire/ -- The Virginia Coalition for Human Rights (VCHR) opposes Governor Ralph Northam's excessive subsidies to and government support for Energix Renewable Resources, Ltd. of Israel.
Energix claims it will build a dozen utility-scale solar energy arrays and invest hundreds of millions of dollars in Virginia's highly competitive solar energy market. But the company's troubling links to corrupt deals inside Virginia and its overseas record of marginalizing local communities can no longer be ignored.
- On May 1, 2020, Virginia's Office of Inspector General found that a portfolio of Energix projects was improperly used by the Virginia Israel Advisory Board to absolve one of its board members of a personal $210,000 repayment to the Tobacco Commission.
- In February, 2020, the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights placed Energix on a list of companies that benefit from the use of natural resources in foreign occupied territory, to the detriment of surrounding communities.
- In 2019, the American Friends Service Committee reported Energix and its parent company operate in foreign occupied territories. Energix built a solar facility in addition to a 155-megawatt array of wind generators in occupied territory. When surrounding communities objected, Energix sued them in Israeli courts.
Virginia has a growing trade deficit with Israel, and a plurality of Virginians in a 2018 public opinion poll said the state should stop preferential subsidies to Israeli companies. Energix now receives far more government subsidies and preferential access than its domestic competitors.
- In 2020, Energix received $2-$5 million in CARES-Act PPP loans -- one-third of all the PPP forgivable loans in the $350,000-and-above category given to Virginia solar companies.
- In 2020, the Virginia Jobs Investment Program announced it will subsidize Energix's human resources costs to open its headquarters within an Alony-Hetz owned property in Arlington County.
- In 2018, Aviva Fry used her status as a VIAB representative to meet with the governor's office and regulators on Energix's behalf, while simultaneously serving as the U.S. representative of Energix.
VCHR calls on all Virginia state, county, and municipal government officials to stop subsidizing Energix and provide greater support to upstanding Virginia and U.S. solar energy companies.
Concerned citizens of the commonwealth, nation, and world can sign our petition at EjectEnergix.org
VCHR, is a pro-peace, pro-equal rights coalition of 17 organizations representing over 10,000 Virginians.
For more information, contact Jim Metz at 804-285-8632 or [email protected].
SOURCE Virginia Coalition for Human Rights