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College to host Energy Week

Presentations will focus on current oil and gas issues, alternative and future fuels
Energy Week at San Juan College will focus on current and future energy sources. (The Pueblo Chieftain)

For the 20th year, the San Juan College School of Energy, in collaboration with local energy partners, will host Energy Week May 12 to 26.

Students from across San Juan and McKinley counties will visit the School of Energy to learn how solar energy captured by marine life hundreds of millions of years ago was stored in the form of oil and gas. Students will also learn about alternative fuels and future forms of energy.

Information will be offered on topics such as how petroleum is used to make products including moisture-wicking athletic fabrics, lipstick, hair gel and plastics used in electric cars, the process of how decaying crustaceans became oil reserves, how drilling and operating wells is done safely, the process of refining natural gas and gasoline and what powers everyday items like cellphones.

Another segment of the week will focus on alternative and renewable energy and the transition to a low-carbon world, as well as how these energy sources supplement traditional energy sources providing Americans with reliable and affordable energy.

New this year will be an overview of helium and its importance to industrial segments of the U.S. economy and the inner workings of the national power grid.

“The primary goal of this program is to bring to life the school science curriculum and to show the students how science is being applied in their own backyards,” said George Shape of Merrion Oil & Gas in a news release. “A secondary goal of Energy Week is to educate the students and their accompanying adults about the most important industries in the region, the state and the nation. Tens of thousands of people work in high-paying jobs in the energy industry, paying taxes, buying groceries, and volunteering in communities. In addition, the revenues generated from the industry are the lifeblood of the state budget, most of which goes to public education.”

“Another intended lesson is to show how oil and gas and fossil-based fuels can be developed in harmony with the environment,” Sharpe said. “The exhibits demonstrate the numerous measures taken by the industry to protect groundwater, wildlife, and human health. With responsible energy development and environmental stewardship, we can have our energy and still preserve the Four Corners as one of the most beautiful places on Earth.”

For more information on Energy Week, contact Dolores Silseth at silsethd@sanjuancollege.edu or (505) 566-3402 or George Sharpe at gsharpe@merrion.bz or (505) 402-5798.