Have you made it to the State Fairs? This holiday weekend there’s one in Kodiak and one in Palmer Fair. Come over to the 4H building Sat. and Sun. at either to see the various energy publications. Keep your eyes open for as many energy related booths as you can see at the fairs for energy products, utilities, companies, etc…. Whichever one you are at, take a look and see- Who’s there? Stop by the 4H booth(s) and grab energy pubs for some good reading!
There has been word amongst those working with utilities in the South Central region of the state that there will be a lag in the market of new gas work ups producing and declining supply of existing wells around 2014-2016 or so- leading to a price shock to those using natural gas or electricity generated from it. Listening today to the acting DNR Commissioner, however, it seems as though there will plenty of gas that could skip the lag others have feared. A number of wells on a map of oil/gas activity in Cook Inlet from DNR’s Division of Oil and Gas shows over a dozen developments that range from license changes to exploration sites to productive wells that will be in action sometime in this decade yet. Even a geothermal lease is displayed. Keep an eye on the inlet, and see how prices equivocate the next couple years!
Keep your eyes open at the Palmer state fair for energy displays around the 4H area. Sign up for a free Radon test kit, and pick up ACEP and CCHRC pubs as well. With winter coming on you may want to look over weatherization publications or information on energy saving tips. Also, for the kiddos, there will be a daily drawing (various science kits).
For more information call Art at 474-6366
As expected in a state as large and independent as Alaska is, there is more than one “State Fair” (at least in promotion and advertising). I am at the Kenai on the coast at Ninilchik. We have several energy devices in the 4H building along with a drawing for solar egg cooker, wind drive light, and various prizes. If you make it today or tomorrow (Sat.) to the fair, please stop in and say hi! Or if you are in town at noon, feel free to visit today for the Aging in Place workshop at the Sr. Center. If you are in Homer tonight, come by the Kachemak Civic Center at 6pm for a remote energy workshop!
Alaska National Wildlife Refuge (ANWR) is in the news again, and this time it is about special use a permit for exploration in one of the areas of ANWR. The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service’s regional stance is that when the Secretary of the Interior submitted report by to Congress in 1987, the permit expired and feels the State of Alaska’s Exploration Plan has been advanced too late resulting in the agency not hearing or analyzing the State of Alaska’s exploration plans.”
The State of Alaska disagrees with Fish and Wildlife’s reading of Alaska National Interest Lands Act (ANILCA, 1980), claiming the Interior Department’s legal opinion states that there isn’t an expiration date mentioned in ANILCA. The State’s claim is that the Secretary of the Interior must take certain actions when receiving an exploration plan; they believe that 3-D seismic testing in ANWR will show the amount and robustness of oil under the coastal plain while delivering very little impact on the top of the plain by using the latest of technology.
The future question may be, with polar icebreaking oil transit ships being unveiled, as to whether which type of petrol extraction will have more impact on wildlife- that on the coastal plain, or out on the ocean? More research will probably point to a comparison of effects in the future.
It’s a good variety of questions we get at the Cooperative Extension Service booth at the fair. I especially enjoy being stumped and needing to track down something I hadn’t known about. Someone earlier in the week asked about how to remove moss from home/cabin roofs. Others have asked about vetch information, which I had not known we had as an online publication only. And today, someone from one of the remote road villages asked, ‘How can I keep bigfoot from throwing rocks and sticks at my cabin all night?’. (My immediate answer being something along the lines of timing him out after about a half hour, but I don’t think I’d gotten to the heart of the question……). Anyway, if you have a question about something related to our Extension areas of expertise in Agriculture&Horticulture, Community Resource & Economic Development, Energy Education & Housing, or Health Home & Family Development come on by the booth!
Here is an interesting article from BBC on how one nation returned to bikes for main transportation after WWII as a way of life due to the Arab energy crisis and a youth (protection of) movement. Different nations have different milestones along their energy usage paths…. (See http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/magazine-23587916).
With the relatively cooler temps and some rain it may have looked as though the precautions that prevented wood cutting earlier this summer may not be a concern….However, beware yet. Up across the Chatanika Lodge a pulley at a mining operation let a spark go, and as the owners/workers ran over to the lodge to get water the surrounding biomass burned the project over. The problem with running your chain saw in weather that seems perfect for bucking long logs is that simply hitting a rock with the chain could jump a spark and start surrounding tinder on fire. Be sure to check in the area you plan to gather in with the state forestry office for the latest status before cutting and gathering this winter’s wood.
Well, with hunting coming up and folks going out to the cabins for the Fall I plan to offer a partial solution for those off the electrical grid. Thinking that folks would be interested in learning how to construct 3 simple devices for space heat and hot water, most likely the 4th weekend of August I plan to teach and allow people to make the following in Fairbanks:
-a rocket stove for the cabin out of 2 salvage drums and various stovepipe as well as clay pebbles.
-a solar parabolic hot water heater out of 6″ halved PVC and 1″ treaded copper piping (or stainless steel).
-a solar hot box out of 2″round rain gutter, polly panel and firebrick
If you think you may be interested in signing up let Carmen know at 474-5854 as she works the Extension Forester (Glen Holt) and myself on scheduling of workshops. If you have any other questions you can call me (Art) at 474-6366. There will be a fee of $30 for the 5 hour class, and a limit of 10 seats available.