By Gregg Fulfer
We all have been given the blessing of vision, each and everyone of us. I’m not talking about eyesight, for some are unfortunately blind. I’m talking about the vision of forward thinking, reaching inside and seeing where we would like to be in the future. We elect public officials to try to look out for our future, a future that will be sustainable, providing jobs and providing an economic base for future generations to come.
The Holtec nuclear storage site was originally sought after as a long term 40+ year plan that would provide safe short-term opportunities and would lead to a future long-term economic base with good paying job opportunities and keep Southeast New Mexico as a strong energy-producing powerhouse. Holtec was selected because they provided a very safe solution for long-term storage in one of the safest, most neutral parts of the nuclear cycle. The storage of what is being called waste today will more than likely be the energy of America in 40+ years as science and engineering become more developed.
While we are all enjoying the fruits of today’s shale revolution, we absolutely must look to the future, where the next generation will be, and ask, “What will tomorrow’s economy be based upon?” If we refuse to embrace the scientific and engineering developments of tomorrow and fail to catch a vision of where we could be technologically and economically 40 years from now, the end result would be economically disastrous for our region. Oil and gas simply won’t last forever.
The potential risk involved in storing waste in this part of the nuclear cycle sounds as if we are embracing waste today, but when one keeps in mind the projected decline of oil and gas over the next 40 years as the shale revolution inevitably tapers off, what we now consider waste could easily be developed into the energy of the future. With anything worth pursuing, there is always an element of risk. We all decide it is worth the risk to go to work each day, even if our jobs are more dangerous in nature. The oil and gas industry, on which our region’s whole economy is dependent, includes many hazards and risks to us all, and yet that does not stop many from taking the risk in order to see a worthy goal achieved in spite of the risk.
What is necessary is for forward-thinking citizens to look past the time we are living in today, with vision concerning what real possibilities lie in the future, embracing something which has great potential to some day be developed into a new source of power.
Our elected officials need to educate themselves on the facts of this part of the nuclear cycle. They need to know the true facts concerning the risk. They need to know what it could bring to future generations, when science and engineering are applied to what they consider waste today, which could easily could be the energy of tomorrow. Is it waste or is it the energy that will drive the future?
Where are the visionaries who are supposed to be looking ahead and leading us into the future?
By Gregg Fulfer