Quay County Sun - Serving the High Plains

Letters to the editor - March 1


March 1, 2017

Believing borehole story naive

Are we that naive to believe these boreholes are just a science project?

I would like to rebuke Steve Hansen’s last two opinion columns on the proposed “scientific boreholes” sited near Nara Visa.

I will agree, the current wording in the contract states there will be no nuclear waste involved in this particular project or at this particular site.

However, if you took the time to attend the meetings regarding this project, you would know that ENERCON reps refuse to give us that same guarantee for the future.

In fact, they continue to use the words “phased” and “adaptive” when referring to the future of these boreholes.

I’m sure the definition of “adaptive” is not lost on Hansen.

It would take hundreds of boreholes to store our country’s backlogged nuclear waste. The feasibility of this project rests in the viability of the granite beneath us.

We are one of a few places in the U.S. with the rock formation the Department of Energy is considering for nuclear waste storage. If this test proves the viability, the DOE will work to site a nuclear dump in our back yard.

Hansen may not take that threat seriously, but I do; and so do several hundred other people living in close proximity to this project.

I’m sorry, but I can’t put a price on my family, friends, and neighbors.

Do peoples’ livelihoods, our children’s futures, and the health of our residents cross your mind?

We must look at the intent of the project. The DOE would not drill here if it didn’t have reason to believe the rock formation beneath us could be used for nuclear waste disposal.

Stop the madness. Say no to the borehole.

Bart Wyatt


Enercon can’t be trusted

Thanks to Steve Hansen for his Feb. 22 opinion piece, “Nuclear waste notions unfounded.”

I’m sure Enercon — hired for the borehole drilling as part of the Department of Energy’s larger goal of disposing high-level nuclear waste — appreciates the re-print of its talking points and complete lack of objective research.

Hansen states the Quay County Commission withdrew support for the project because of opposition from Nara Visa residents. Hansen should know that opposition to the project extends beyond Nara Visa as three times the population of that town came to voice their opposition to the project at a Feb. 7 meeting. Residents from all over Quay and surrounding counties swelled the attendance that night. As word continues to spread, opposition continues to mount.

My family has owned ranch land near the borehole site for over 100 years and we have many reasons to reject the risk to our future that the borehole represents. But reasons to reject the borehole reach beyond logic and public opposition and into bad faith evidenced by Enercon.

Commissioner Sue Dowell stated her reason for withdrawal of support: “I am very concerned about events I have witnessed from Enercon representatives. ... I am seeing and hearing inconsistencies from Enercon representatives that concern me very much.”

The fact that Enercon has failed to produce anything in writing from the DOE stating that no nuclear waste will ever be stored in Quay County tells me that the possibility of high-level nuclear waste being stored near any successful borehole is very real.

I’m not so fully confident that Hansen’s 10 reasons to trust Enercon can be trusted.

I wonder how Hansen’s opinion would change if the borehole were a bit closer to him. Is Hansen offering his back yard for the “science project”?

Erin (Hughs) Clements

Las Cruces

Town feels loss of tow truck driver

The recent tragedy that has struck our little community has brought to light something that few of us ever think about.

We have all experienced that moment, when our vehicle has died or failed to turn over. It is always a moment of terror. What do I do now? How much is this going to cost? How am I going to move forward?

For those horrifying moments, we can always rely on the tow truck drivers to bring us to a place where these questions can be answered, no matter where our car has left us.

Those who drive tow trucks are the only ones who truly understand the nature of the job. When one is struck down, the whole community feels the pain and loss.

The vigil held for tow truck driver Bobby Unruh was an intense display of support, not only from the local population but from the larger family of tow companies all over the United States, sending a powerful message: “Move over or slow down. We have families, and we are all family.”

Rivalries and competition set aside, the intense support for the family, friends and co-workers of one struck down in the line of duty was enough to bring a stranger to tears.

Maybe, the tragic loss will be the catalyst for change. Surely, anyone who was present to witness the long line of tow trucks flashing their lights and blaring their horns in mourning will be more aware of the danger of the job and, in the future, be more conscious of the brave men and women on the side of the road, pulling another vehicle to safety.

This is written with love and sadness to Bobby’s family, friends and co-workers.

Pat Hansen



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