A few years ago the good people of Utah voted down an initiative that would have allowed hotter radioactive waste to be brought into the state.

The company that encases such waste in glass before dumping it in the desert sported the doublespeak name of EnviroCare. It has since been purchased by Steve Creamer, who got rich by brining New Jersey garbage to Utah. Utahns might remember him from the SynCrete fiasco or the Quail Creek Dam failure. Most likely they’ve never heard of him though.

Upon purchasing EnviroCare Creamer came up with an equally appropriate new name for it: Energy Solutions. Then he went on a rather expensive PR blitz touting “Energy Solutions, we’re part of the solution!” This would seem a little odd to spend so much on advertising when the people seeing your ads aren’t your target market. The great majority of the waste processed at the Energy Solutions facility comes in from out of state. The company has no significant competition. So why the ads? Is Creamer just throwing his money away?

About ten days ago the Utah Jazz announced that the Delta Center, their home since moving from the Salt Palace in 1990, would now be called Energy Solutions Arena. Details were not made public, but it is assumed that the deal was in the $25 million range.

Again, why market to sports fans that have no interest in ever buying your product? Why not simply continue to operate quietly, vitrifying waste and dumping it in the desert for good money?

Given that Creamer is a screw up, but a rich one at that, I am assuming that he is not totally stupid. He didn’t buy the company and then blow millions on a PR campaign thinking that he would just process the types of waste he is processing right now. He wants to expand his market to more dangerous substances, and needs Utah law to be changed in order to do so.

I predict that in two years we will see another initiative to bring hotter waste into Utah. Many LDS heavy hitters including politicians and Larry Miller will support it. This time it will pass, and Creamer’s bet will have paid off.

Larry Miller has sold his building’s new name for money. Depending on your point of view he has either sold it to another businessman or to the devil.

Since criticism of this type is often met with charges that one needs more education on the subject I should add that I have been to the processing facility and seen the vitrification process. While I am not professionally qualified to comment on the technical details of the process, everyone else that took the tour with me was either a professor of chemical engineering or a phd candidate in the field. The came away unimpressed and with grave concerns about what came out the smoke stack that wasn’t being monitored for and with the temporary nature of the “solution”.