Better energy source needed
It’s election time again and we are being asked to give more tax dollars to the government for schools and libraries here in New Mexico. I support both entities, but what ever happened to the gas and oil tax dollars or the lottery tax dollars that were suppose to support them.
Every two years we are asked to pay more property tax for schools and libraries. I would have to say, something is not working. Maybe spending is the problem. My issue with automatic general obligation bonds is that they are automatic. Let’s see, what can we spend tax payer money on this year?
While researching material to figure out why the government continues to ignore Thorium Energy, I kept coming across government funded projects that made absolutely no sense in this day and age and a waste of taxpayers’ money. Let’s take for example Sen. Jeff Bingaman’s bill in the Senate to expand WIPP or build a completely new underground repository for highly radioactive nuclear waste in southeast New Mexico between Hobbs and Carlsbad. How expensive do you think that project might be? The U.S. government has already spent $12 billion on Yucca Mountain over the past 30 years to centrally store all the radioactive waste from U.S. nuclear power plants and then, just like that, stopped funding the project and left a big long tunnel in the ground. I have got to admit, it does store a lot of waste; of our tax dollars. Senator Bingaman and local politicians want to do it again.
A second example project right here in New Mexico was up in Los Alamos. They proposed to build a facility named Chemistry and Metallurgy Research Replacement Facility. It’s almost as if the name was chosen to put us all to sleep before someone looked very closely at the project and found that it was designed to increase production capacity for the plutonium components of nuclear warheads. Talk about out of touch!
Luckily, this $6 billion boondoggle was stopped in Congress by a few dedicate people. There was no logic behind that project other than job security in Los Alamos at our expense. If Los Alamos wants job security, then they should invest our tax dollars into something of value for the people of this nation, maybe something like an ultimate green energy source and distribution system to replace our current hydrocarbon economy.
Here is what I would propose: Molten Salt Reactors to create electricity and hydrogen. MSRs were first designed, built and proven by Alvin Weinberg at the Oak Ridge National Laboratory in the 1950s and 1960s, and had the potential to revolutionize the world energy supply, allowing us to replace our fossil fuel-based energy system with clean, safe and economical nuclear energy. However, that didn’t happen (thanks to President Nixon) and the current generations of nuclear reactors ended up using uranium- based solid fuel rods, which is where that radioactive waste comes from. MSRs use a liquid fuel (thorium) and produce virtually no waste.
MSRs can definitely replace all the dirty coal power plants over time, but what about the fossil fuels needed for our transportation vehicles?
That is where hydrogen comes into play. Remember back in 2003 when the Bush Administration touted hydrogen as the clean green energy of the future. However, hydrogen does not create energy; it only stores it, which means it can be used as a transportation fuel. Unfortunately, fossil fuels are still burned to split the hydrogen from water. There is nothing clean about that process. Thorium is the answer to replace those fossil fuels used to create hydrogen, and it can also replace those unsightly renewable sources popping up all over the place. Until there is a commitment to MSRs, we still need to drill for gas and oil. That should make a few locals happy.
Waste! Which is more dangerous to our future? I think the last two administrations have given us the answer to that question. It’s time to replace the old with the new. Please vote Thorium Energy 2012 (that is code for Romney).
A clear choice
On Nov. 6, you have a choice between trickle down prosperity or trickle up poverty; a welfare state where you’re told what to believe or remaining free. Please vote.
Your knuckle-dragging, Bible banging,
Flag waving neighbor
Golf tournament support appreciated
On behalf of the Eastern New Mexico University-Roswell Foundation, I would like to thank the community for its support of the 10th annual ENMU-Roswell Foundation Golf Tournament, held Oct. 6 at the NMMI Golf Course. In addition to 124 enthusiastic golfers, we had numerous businesses and individuals who sponsored our tournament, making it a huge success! Without the support of this community, the work of the foundation could not continue and our annual golf tournament is our largest fundraiser.
The golf tournament proceeds of $15,345 will go to the General Excellence Fund, which responds to a variety of program and student needs at the ENMU-Roswell campus. The foundation exists to generate support for ENMU-Roswell’s goal of providing a superior, affordable education to all students. Gifts to the foundation support programs and activities not funded through traditional sources. The foundation also provides thousands of dollars in scholarships to students each semester, giving them the opportunity to complete a college education.
I would also like to especially recognize Crae Fields, Brady Crump and all the staff at the NMMI Golf Course for their assistance with the tournament. They are true professionals and handled the operation of the tournament with a positive, customer-friendly attitude.
Again, we appreciate everyone’s support of ENMU-Roswell and we look forward to another wonderful tournament in October of 2013!
President, ENMU-Roswell Foundation
For the past several months and in the recent presidential debate, President Obama has been criticized by the Republicans for not building the Keystone-XL pipeline. What is not mentioned by the opponents is the fact that the ranches, other land owners and even the governor of the state of Nebraska were opposed to the plan of the pipeline organization as it would cross their state. They were concerned that a large oil spill would poison the very lush grazing land and the Ogalalla aquifer.
Now we read in a recent issue of the Roswell Daily Record (Oct. 18, 2012, Page A7) that our neighbors in Texas are actively working to oppose the pipeline. This is unusual because of the past history of Texas support for oil and gas production.
The opposition centers around the arrogant manner in which the pipeline team has been dealing with Texas. Further we learned that the pipeline company, a foreign company from Canada, is using foreign steel for the construction in the U.S. and will not promise to use local workers to build it and will not guarantee that the oil will remain in the U.S.
How can there be energy independence for the U.S. with this kind of management by the pipeline company?
Musings during a concert
I went to an orchestra concert Monday night given by the high school orchestra with their new teacher who has been in class for about five weeks. There were a large number of students on stage and a good sized audience. Five weeks is not long enough to prepare a long concert, but what they could do they did well with an interesting program.
The problem noticed the by all in the audience is that when the teacher turned to speak to the audience, his face was completely in the dark. A young orchestra member did a good job of narrating, but her face was completely in the dark. This was very disconcerting, especially because there is a wireless light board to light that part of the stage; however it is locked up and not accessible during the evening events. One has to arrange to get the key and have another person in the balcony to run the light board.
Obviously, tonight all those elements were not possible. Why is the light board not in a protective case backstage where it can be gotten to by the people using the facility? What does this say to the students on stage tonight; that it doesn’t matter that they don’t have the best possible experience? That it doesn’t matter that the new teacher didn’t have someone there to make sure everything went smoothly for his first concert? That whoever is in charge of the light board presently cannot be present to do the job necessary to make a concert a good experience for all involved.
If that is not their job then why is the light board under their control; locked up when they go home at 4 p.m.? Concerts, after all, are usually in the evening. Athletic events must have an administrator at each one, why is this rule not enforced for musical events? Athletic fields have great lighting, what’s the difference for the students who are musically rather than athletically gifted? Why are the orchestra students in the dark?