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Cross Border Energy Project Concerns Border Patrol

The U.S. Border Patrol is concerned about an ambitious cross-border energy project that will send power from Arizona into Mexico.

The energy project involves building an electric grid from Southern Arizona over the border into Nogales, Sonora.

But one of the options for connecting is to run power lines near the Border Patrol’s helicopter platform station in Nogales, Arizona.

The agency wrote a letter expressing concerns about the project.

Among them: electromagnetic frequencies disturbing Border Patrol horses, lightning strikes occurring around the agency’s rappel tower and the possibility that new power poles could be used during illegal border crossings.

Joseph Barrios is spokesman for Unisource Energy Services, one of the companies funding the project on the U.S side.

"We talked to the Border Patrol about their concerns. We feel strongly we can address the issues that they raised during this public process," Barrios said. "And we simply feel that by continuing to have a conversation with them, we can address their concerns."

The agency has said it supports the project as long as its concerns are addressed.

Fronteras Desk senior editor Michel Marizco is an award-winning investigative reporter based in Flagstaff.