In a weird convergence, the #Natural Gas fracking boom and Mexico’s adherence to the #Paris Climate Accord are going to cause that country to be dependent on American natural gas to meet the emissions targets, according to the Washington Examiner. Also, if President Trump builds to the southern border wall and covers it with solar panels, Mexico will likely buy the electricity from that combination solar collector/border barrier, in effect paying for the wall. As the president had been given to say, “Winning. So much winning.”

Mexico as a market for American natural gas

Natural gas constitutes 40 percent of the sources of energy in Mexico. 55 percent of Mexico’s demand for natural gas came from the United States in 2016.

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The situation has caused Mexico to favor an energy strategy that relies on renewables such as solar and wind but also natural gas as a backup power source, for times when the sun is not out, and the breezes are calm. The United States has become a net exporter of energy to Mexico, selling $20.2 billion in 2016 while purchasing $8.7 billion worth.

The solar powered wall

In the meantime, President Trump has embraced an idea to enhance his plan for a barrier wall along the southern border between the United States and Mexico. The idea is to cover the wall with photovoltaic panels and then sell the electricity to pay for the barrier, probably to Mexico. The wall as a solar power generator will require the building to power lines to connect it to the grid, adding to the expense. Whether a solar powered southern wall would pay for itself is a question that hasn’t been adequately explored.

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Mexico regards the idea of a border wall as an affront to its national dignity, especially considering the president’s boast that he will make that country pay for it. On a more practical level, illegal immigration to the United States has provided a safety valve for Mexico in which it exports people who might otherwise be a burden on the state. Needless to say, human and drug trafficking has proven to be very lucrative for criminal cartels which have an inordinate influence with the Mexican government due to bribes and intimidation.

But a solar collecting wall would present Mexico with a quandary. All that renewable energy flowing south would go a long way toward meeting emissions targets required by the Paris Climate Accords. The irony is that #Donald Trump, a climate change skeptic, will play a crucial role in helping a neighboring country mitigate the phenomenon because of his desire to control the border and cut down on illegal immigration.