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Cross Border Power Line Sparks Tension Between Sempra And Unions

— Sempra has been working for more than three years to win approval for a cross-border transmission line in Eastern San Diego County. It would move electricity from a Mexican wind farm to power customers in the United States. Construction workers protesting at the meeting said the project encourages jobs to be created outside the U.S.

"That energy would displace energy that could come from renewable energy projects,” said Jennifer Badgley of the International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers. “For example, projects that could be built in Imperial County where unemployment is among the highest in the country."

Sempra’s Scott Crider said the Mexican wind farm is being built where the wind is. Even so, Sempra is also developing power sources north of the U.S./Mexico border.

"We have a 300-megawatt solar farm that we are attempting to build here in California,” said Crider. “There are other developers who are developing wind and solar in San Diego and Imperial Valley."

The cross-border transmission line still needs to be approved by the federal government and a decision could come by the fall.

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