So I made the drive from Odessa, Texas to Ruidoso, NM. On the way I passed several landmarks of note regarding energy/environment in the Southwest.
The first was the site of the new Waste Control Specialists’ plant that disposes of low-level radioactive waste (LLRW) - the only commercial facility in the United States licensed to dispose of Class A, B and C LLRW. Obviously storing radioactive waste is a controversial issue, and this facility fits the bill. Read more about the plant, environmental concerns, and political/financial intrigue here:
WCS Commences Low-Level Radioactive Waste Disposal Reuters
The ABCs of Radioactive Waste in West Texas Reporting Texas
Months Later, TCEQ Getting Burned by Latest Radioactive Favor for Harold Simmons Texas Observer
I took some photos of the site, which mostly consisted of giant dirt mounds. Although I did find it amusing that the Waste Control Specialists sign flanked the Welcome to Texas sign. Just so you know what you’re headed into.
I also drove by the future site of America’s Most Innovative Neighborhood, otherwise known as The Center for Innovation, Testing and Evaluation (CITE).
Located outside of Hobbs, NM, CITE will essentially be a highly capable ghost town. This empty mid-sized American city will be a testing ground for new technologies, including smart meters and other things with energy implications. Economically this is a big “get” for New Mexico as it will bring 350 permanent jobs and a lot more temporary ones, helping Hobbs become the city its welcome sign always thought it could be.