Imperial County's state Senate representative is urging the federal government not to approve an energy tieline with Mexico as he says it will costs jobs in the Valley.
Sen. Juan Vargas, D-San Diego, introduced a Senate joint resolution that calls on the Secretary of the U.S. Department of Energy to reject Sempra Generation's application for a Presidential Permit to construct the Energia Sierra Juarez transmission tie in line between Mexico and San Diego County.
He says axing the line will prevent the loss of $4.5 million in human capital investment in Imperial County, promote independence from imported oil and uphold California's labor and environmental standards, according to a press release from the senator's office.
“We can’t sit back and watch thousands of jobs be outsourced to Mexico while Imperial County is experiencing some of the worst unemployment in the United States,” said Vargas. “I’m urging our federal government to invest in our local workforce.
"Families in Imperial County need these jobs, and we should fight hard to keep them,” he added in the statement.
Vargas' numbers are based on a study by Dr. Peter Philips, a University of Utah economics professor. The study says that if the tieline is approved, it would lose about 600 construction jobs a year for five years, along with other economic impacts, many in Imperial County.
Sempra Generation officials have said that the study is biased, having been funded by California labor unions. The project in Mexico is just one piece of the puzzle, along with the projects in Imperial County.
To read more about the study, see http://articles.ivpressonline.com/2011-07-24/wind-project_29811276