Twenty-eight United States scientists and engineers have come forward with a bold and interesting proposal. They propose that we throw away the plans for Trump’s border wall and instead work together with Mexico to build a 1,954-mile long energy park along the border.
According to scientists and engineers, the joint venture would bring an abundant amount of energy and water to the region, as well as provide border and economic security.
The idea is the creation of a consortium of scientists and engineers working with the University of Perdue. The prestigious scientists and engineers involved are from across the nation and they have worked diligently to put together a plan for an enormous infrastructure that would be made up of a train of solar energy panels, natural gas pipelines, desalination facilities and wind turbines that together will create an industrial/energy park unlike anything built before. It would be the first of its kind in the world.
The energy park would bring the United States border security because the utility facilities will need 24-hour security. The energy park would also bring good paying jobs which feeds the region’s economy. The proposed park would draw new businesses to the area due to the cheap energy and abundance of water.
The head scientist on the project, Luciano Castillo, says that the proposed energy park would have historic effects for both the U.S. and Mexico.
“Just like the transcontinental railroad transformed the United States in the 19th century, or the Interstate system transformed the 20th century, this would be a national infrastructure project for the 21st century,” Castillo explains. “It would do for the Southwest what the Tennessee Valley Authority has done for the Southeast over the last several decades.”
Another scientist working on the plan, Ronald Adrian of Arizona University, says that the new proposal is a huge undertaking, but one worth exploring further.
“At first blush, the idea seems too big, too aggressive, but consider the Roman aqueducts or the transcontinental railroads — enormous undertakings that gave enormous benefits. The cost of providing basic, essential infrastructure to the borderlands is tiny compared to the opportunities it creates,” Adrian says. “I view this project as means of creating wealth by turning unused land of little value along the border into valuable land that has power, water access, and ultimately agriculture, industry, jobs, workers, and communities. With only a wall, you still have unused land of little value.”
Carlos Castillo-Chavez, Regent’s Professor at Arizona State University, believes that a cooperative effort between the U.S. and Mexico could repair cultural ties that were lost hundreds of years ago as well as address border protection issues.
“The USA-Mexico border is home to families with common bonds, large Spanglish-proficient communities, talented creative large pools of young people, intersecting cultural ties and more. These communities have faced day and night similar ecological, health, education, energy, water, and security challenges,” Castillo-Chavez says. “They know that solutions must address these challenges across both nations. There are no effective single-territory solutions.”
Now, if you’re shaking your head in doubt consider these things: The region near the border has a pretty much endless supply of solar energy. The area also offers a significant amount of natural gas as well as wind resources. Right now, the region is dealing with drought issues and the situation is predicted to get worse before it gets better. Farming in the region is a difficult task and jobs have become scarce due in most part by the lack of water and power.
The facility would bring energy and water and with those two resources farms would flourish on both sides of the border. Many Mexican citizens are crossing the border illegally into the United States because there are no opportunities for them in Mexico. An energy park could change that.
The energy park would also be a political gift according to Castillo. “Democrats want a Green New Deal. Republicans want border security. Both parties could win. It could be a win-win for the U.S. and Mexico too. This idea could spark a completely new conversation about the border and we need that.”
Castillo says the plan needs other types of experts brought on board. “We need economists. We will need people with experience in manufacturing. We’ll need policy experts who know how energy and water can be traded.”
Castillo truly believes the proposal could solve our border safety issues. “All utility plants, pipelines, and other energy production facilities have security — as any infrastructure will have under any conditions,” he says. “In addition to physical security features, such as multiple levels of fencing, these pipelines and facilities would also have electronic sensors and drone surveillance. This would allow areas for wildlife to continue to migrate while alerting officials to anyone crossing the border illegally. This is a different kind of initiative that will solve many existing challenges while bringing people together. It will bring energy, water, and education to create more opportunities for the USA and Mexico on both sides.”
Adrian completely agrees with Castillo. “The measures being undertaken to control the U.S.-Mexican border with a barrier “the ‘wall are entirely compatible with a long bank of solar panels backed by a super pipeline — same land, similar construction issues, and the fact that each of these systems is a barrier to some degree.”
“Don’t think of it as a barrier. Think of it as an energy corridor, a water corridor. It can create a great opportunity for both countries. It can create peace.”
The plan can be viewed online here.