Only a few weeks after President Obama's controversial decision to delay the building of the Keystone XL pipeline, the Obama administration is expected in the next several weeks to approve a 500-mile green energy transmission line project running through Arizona and New Mexico that his own Defense Department says may pose "an unacceptable risk to national security."
The 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.
About 45 miles of the transmission lines would be located in a "restricted zone" because it would overlap an Army missile testing ground at New Mexico's White Sands Missile Range.
'National Security Risk'
Rep. Steve Pearce, R-N.M., says the plan would compromise the military base's central mission of testing cruise missiles and "create a serious national security risk." New Mexico Gov. Susana Martinez has also weighed in, saying: "I am seriously concerned that the planned route for the project" poses "an unacceptable national security risk."
Pearce and Martinez have for many months advised the SunZia management to reroute the power lines in a way that won't interfere with the army base operations. But the investors have objected on the grounds that drawing up a new course for the lines would be too expensive and lead to years of environmental impact delays.
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