Since 2009, New Mexico has been faced with an internal conflict. Sun Zia, an Arizona corporation, has proposed building an energy transmission line across New Mexico, which would cut across White Sands Missile Range (WSMR). Despite concerns from the Department of Defense (DoD) that this line would negatively impact the mission at WSMR, the Department of Interior (DoI) supported Sun Zia and published an official alternative route running through the missile range. This past fall, DoD and DoI asked MIT to conduct an impartial audit of the Sun Zia proposal to validate or discredit the DoD’s position. On Monday, some of the study’s findings were shared with congressional staff in a closed-door meeting in Washington.
“The MIT Report validates DoD’s concerns that the construction of the above-ground Sun Zia transmission lines would threaten the defense mission at White Sands Missile Range,” said Pearce. “Secretary Hagel last month highlighted the path forward for the Defense Department. It included steep budget cuts, and a desire and necessity to create and maintain the most technologically advanced military in the world. WSMR provides this path forward as both a low cost provider, and a one of a kind test facility. We must not allow political influence and corporate profits to interfere with national security. It is not an acceptable answer for the people of New Mexico or the people of the United States.”
I call on DoD and DoI to release the findings so that we can end the political maneuvering that has surrounded this discussion, and move forward with a plan that protects WSMR and its mission.”
Congressman Pearce called on Sun Zia to end the ongoing dispute over transmission lines in New Mexico, and adopt an alternative plan that avoids WSMR.