President Donald Trump’s wall at the U.S.-Mexico border might include solar panels.
Trump reportedly proposed that idea to Republican leaders yesterday in a meeting at the White House, according to several news outlets.
The border wall to protect the country against illegal immigration, human trafficking, and drug smuggling is one of Trump’s key campaign promises. He has long insisted that Mexico will pay for it, although he subsequently acknowledged that it might turn out that Mexico would reimburse U.S. taxpayers for its construction, which has a price tag in the billions.
Lawmakers in Congress on both sides of the aisle have yet to include any funding for the border wall in budget appropriations, however.
“Even though Democrats tend to support renewable energy, it’s unlikely that an offer to add solar panels would change their united opposition to any money to build Trump’s wall,” CNN asserted.
According to unnamed insiders who supposedly know what Trump discussed at the sit-down with GOP leaders, the electricity generated with a border wall covered with environmentally friendly solar panels could be another way to pay for it, Axios claimed.
“Trump said his vision was a wall 40 feet to 50 feet high and covered with solar panels so they’d be ‘beautiful structures.'”
Before entering politics, the author of The Art of the Deal was a high-profile builder and real estate mogul as well as the host of the Apprentice franchise.
Contractors have already submitted bids to the government to build the border wall by the April 4 deadline, and winning bidders may be announced this month and asked to submit prototypes.
In April, Gleason Partners LLC, a Las Vegas-based firm “said its solar panels would generate 2 megawatts of electricity an hour,” the AP reported.
“A solar wall isn’t a new idea. Homero Aridjis, an environmental artist, and James Ramey, a professor at Metropolitan Autonomous University-Cuajimalpa in Mexico City, proposed the idea in December,” NBC News claimed.
Rep. Steve Scalise confirmed that solar panel idea came up in the meeting as one innovative option for building the wall, TheHill explained.
“The president is committed to building the wall and securing the border and I commend him for it. He’s continuing to fight and following through on that promise. One idea he is looking at is a wall that would actually function as a solar panel to ultimately pay for itself.”
Separately, billionaire Silicon Valley entrepreneur Palmer Luckey, the founder of Oculus VR, is supposedly developing technology for a virtual border wall as a cheaper alternative than a physical barrier, the New York Times detailed. Luckey was reportedly pushed out of Facebook (which had bought Oculus) after it emerged that he was allegedly aligned with a pro-Trump group.
In a follow-up published today, Adams — who has long praised the president’s persuasion skills along with a prediction that Trump would win the November 2016 election — expressed these thoughts.
“Putting solar panels on the wall is persuasion. It isn’t construction. It isn’t politics. It isn’t border security. It isn’t climate protection. It is pure persuasion. If that isn’t already obvious to you, consider how hard it would be for critics to argue against a green energy project, even if that is just an add-on feature to the wall. It changes the frame.”
Since Donald Trump took office, there has been an unprecedented decrease in illegal border crossings, down 76 percent, according to the Washington Times, in part because of the elimination of the Obama administration’s catch-and-release policy “Even before a foot of Mr. Trump’s planned border wall is built or any more agents are hired, the threat of being sent home has forced would-be migrants to rethink making the journey, officials said.”
[Featured Image by Jacquelyn Martin/AP Images]