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California Builders Say Sempra’s Green Projects in Mexico Will Cost 15,000 U.S. Jobs

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California Builders Say Sempra's Green Projects in Mexico Will Cost 15,000 U.S. Jobs

California builders say San Diego-based Sempra Energy’s plan to build green energy projects in Mexico is stealing American jobs.

Sempra wants to build renewable energy projects in Mexico and ship the electricity generated north. Sempra expects the first phase of the Energia Sierra Juarez project to deliver enough clean electricity for 65,00 San Diego homes.

But the California State Building and Construction Trades Council says the plan will create jobs in Mexico instead of the U.S. The trade group’s Cesar Diaz noted a report from the University of Utah shows that 15,000 U.S. jobs will be lost -- including 10,000 in California, where the unemployment rate is 11.7 percent.

“Construction workers have been losing their homes," Diaz said. "We continue to see the housing industry weaken and now we have this opportunity to build with the investment that California is providing. To see this proposal being outsourced to another country is completely troubling.”

The jobs deficit is included in a report by Peter Philips, an economics professor at the University of Utah. It's a report that Sempra labels as fiction.

The company, in a written statement, said the 15,000 job losses "can't be found anywhere in the organization's own report." Yet the projected job losses are outlined in a table on page 51 of Philip's report.

Sempra said in the first phase of the project, 300 construction and operations jobs will be created on "both sides of the border." Sempra said it has created 1,000 alternative-energy jobs in the U.S.

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