President’s Column – November 2009

Title: Have YOU Voted Yet?

Author: James Mullarkey

Publication: The Outcrop, November 2009, p. 4

If not, please do, you have a month until the RMAG voting closes on Tuesday, December 1st. Plan to attend the Friday luncheon on Dec 4th to see who won and to hear Peggy Williams of Hart Publications present a talk entitled “In the Midst of the Storm.” The talk touches on oil and gas prices, shale-gas reservoirs, a potential flood of imported liquefied natural gas (LNG), and takes a look at domestic and world markets.

Prime field season for 2009 is coming to an end with the onset of shorter days. Speaking of the 2009 field season, the first Saturday in September, I was able to attend a great RMAG On the Rocks (OTR) field trip in the Purgatoire River Valley. The trip visited a Lower Jurassic dinosaur trackway in the Picket Wire Canyonlands portion of the Comanche National Grassland, as well as a rock art site near a cemetery dating to the late 1800’s, all about 20 miles south of La Junta, Colorado. This OTR trip “sold out” with 40 folks of all ages, ranging from single digits to mature RMAG members like me! There was a waiting list, and I have been asked if this trip will happen again next year. My advice to those folks that missed the trip this year and would like to attend, please contact the OTR volunteers, Dan Plazak, and/or Jeff Glossa, and/or Denis Foley, express your interest, and ask what you could do to help make sure this OTR field trip is re-run soon.

The energy facts this month would be more correctly labeled conservation facts since they focus on water and electricity. Consumer Reports’ recent analysis of potential energy bill savings in four key categories; heating and cooling (see last month’s column), water, recycling, and electricity, found that water and electricity were the two categories after heating and cooling that had the most potential for improvement and savings. Stop drips and change to a low-flow showerhead, save more than $330 per year on your water bill (reference: ConsumerReports, October 2009, p.23, Not to mention you would be conserving water, a most valuable resource, especially in the arid climate of the Rocky Mountains. Electricity with its generative savings that is 3X the amount of any savings in the home, due to transmission losses (see April’s column), offers three areas with potential savings, electronics, lights, and appliances. There are now power strips available with built-in sensors that automatically shut off devices that are not in use. String LED holiday lights, they last longer than incandescent lights and can save up to $11 per season (reference: ConsumerReports, October 2008, p. 23). Turn out lights when you leave a room. Compact fluorescent (CFL) bulbs, that are Energy Star qualified, last at least three times as long as incandescent bulbs and use far less energy to produce the same lumens, which combined, can save you about $56 over the life of each CFL bulb (reference: ConsumerReports, October 2009, p. 29). Home Depot and Ikea stores accept CFL bulbs, which contain small amounts of mercury, for recycling.

I’ll close with a joke that shows a humorous side to a low impact error of omission. Student Timmy: “Would you punish someone for something they didn’t do?” Teacher: “Of course not!” Student Timmy: “Good, because I didn’t do my homework.”