This week, Heritage chief economist Stephen Moore pointed out the national security risks of the development of an “environmentally friendly” energy supply line advocated for by the Obama Administration.
According to Moore, this “multibillion-dollar electric power line project, financed by a group called SunZia, would connect wind power facilities in eastern New Mexico to the electric grid and supply power to Arizona and California.” The problem is that the 45-mile stretch of the line runs into a “restricted zone” of the White Sands Missile Range.
The testing site at the White Sands Missile Range conducts technological development to ensure that U.S. troops have the best equipment possible when they go into combat. The Department of Defense (DOD) has warned the Administration that the construction of such a line through White Sands territory “would reduce the range’s ability to conduct critical national security operations.” New Mexico Representative Steve Pearce (R) and Governor Susana Martinez (R) have echoed this concern.
Moore further points out that this project would also require the DOD to shoulder up to “80% of the cost, not the private investors who will profit from the project.” Already the DOD has undergone drastic cuts to its budget; it is unjust to require it to bear the costs of an energy project that will harm their readiness.
This is a drastic contrast from the Obama Administration’s approach to the Keystone XL pipeline. Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D–NV) has repeatedly blocked a vote on the development of the Keystone XL pipeline. Additionally, billionaire Tom Steyer, a man who profits from green energy initiatives, “has promised $100 million to Democrats to beat back Republicans in the midterm elections this fall, and the campaign funds have already paid off in the scuttling of this $3 billion pipeline project,” according to Moore.
The Keystone XL pipeline would benefit the U.S. on multiple fronts. Construction of Keystone XL would provide jobs, reduce dependence on foreign oil, and not require taxpayers to finance its development.
Limiting the capabilities of the DOD—and simultaneously attempting to fine them for it—once again reveals the Administration’s disregard for the safety of American troops.
Rebecca Robison is currently a member of the Young Leaders Program at The Heritage Foundation. For more information on interning at Heritage, please click here.