Holtec has a nuclear solution for New Mexico’s boom-and-bust economy

  • Oil and gas interests in the Permian Basin have aligned with environmentalists to oppose Holtec’s plan
  • Holtec says the project will provide hundreds of good paying jobs in New Mexico
  • Communities across the nation that are stuck with spent nuclear fuel are anxious to send the waste out west so they can begin redeveloping sites that housed nuclear power plants.

It’s easy to tell when boom time has arrived on the wind-swept streets of Carlsbad.

When New Mexico’s Permian Basin is humming, churning out barrel upon barrel of crude to fuel the nation’s cars and trucks, the RV parks along San Jose Boulevard and Hidalgo Road teem with workers looking to cash in on work in the oilfields that dot the city.

The prices of hotel rooms climb to the rates of four-star resorts – as much as $300-a-night — while companies buy out entire floors to house their fleet of workers.

In 2017, oil and gas production in the Permian Basin surged, led by technological advancements such as hydraulic fracturing and horizontal drilling, which make it possible to target harder-to-reach shale deposits thousands of feet beneath the surface.