President’s Column – September 2009

Title: Vote in the RMAG Elections

Author: James Mullarkey

Publication: The Outcrop, September 2009, p. 5

The title of this month’s column is part of my get out the vote effort. When the candidate biographies and photographs arrive in the October Outcrop, NEXT Month, please review them and cast your vote. The ballot should arrive by U. S. Postal Service mail within days of the delivery of the Outcrop.

I spent a week and a half at Philmont Scout Ranch in June and July as a temporary staff, geology volunteer this summer and had a fabulous time. The opportunity to interact with approximately 100 young adults on a daily basis is an excellent chance to portray the oil and gas, and mineral extraction industries from a balanced perspective. The Philmont Scout Ranch (PSR) is about 214 square miles of wilderness area dotted by 49 staffed camps, and populated on any summer day by 4,000 or so campers and staff. The PSR was started by a donation of 35,857 acres by a Tulsa oilman, Waite Phillips, in 1938. The geology volunteer program is a big win-win volunteer situation from my point of view and might be added to a geologist’s list of “100 things to do before you die,” which is also known as a “bucket list.”

Back to interaction at PSR, talking with the campers and staff is an example of Dr. Scott Tinker’s 4th E, Education. Everyone in the geological, and oil and gas communities (as that is the one I am most familiar), is encouraged to find a niche where you can personally contribute to the education of the public. I consider informing folks, as Dr. Tinker has, that I personally am also awed by nature, tread as lightly as possible, and try to leave things the same or better than when I found them as another example of the 4th E via simple communication.

I find Dr. Tinker’s comment that, “As with stocks or real estate, the more diverse our energy options, the more secure we are” to be a very educational statement, being a simple, clear analog. The low-density “fuels” such as wind, waves, tides, biomass and solar, require a lot of infrastructure and Earth surface area, given current technology, and so it seems that research along a large number of paths would be a prudent initial approach.

Energy saving fact: A new refrigerator, with a bottom freezer, will save 50% of the energy of a refrigerator manufactured 15 years ago (~1994, like the one I have, much to our dismay); 550 kilowatt hour per year (kwH/yr) down from 1,165 kwH/yr, or $54 versus $126 of electricity cost per year. This is a very large percentage savings, with a surprisingly short two year payout, given a $72 per month savings, and a refrigerator costing $1,700.

In closing, I overheard Jack asking Joe if he knew what the lamest days of each week were? Joe indicated that he didn’t know. Jack replied, Monday through Friday! The weak days! Or maybe you’ll like this one better, What kind of storm is always in a rush? A hurry-cane!