Keep the research funding coming

Federal officials know this country has a range of problems to solve, as economies transition in regions that have traditionally powered the nation.

It has taken them a bit longer to understand they have the resources to help us do something about it. A little good news came last week, though, from the U.S. Department of Energy, which announced $22 million in research funding to schools such as Boise State University, Montana State University, the University of Nebraska-Lincoln, University of Alaska Fairbanks, University of Maine, University of Nevada, University of Rhode Island, University of South Alabama and our own West Virginia University.

With the intent to fund energy research projects in underserved areas, $22 million across nine universities is a good start, but it is not enough.

WVU, for example will get $2.25 million of that, for “Characterizing ionized gases or plasmas whose applications range from understanding solar flares, to advanced rocket propulsion, to building fusion power systems.”

Important stuff, but our congressional delegation has its work cut out for it, if it is to make federal officials see the enormous talent lying dormant and unsupported in places such as WVU.

“As a champion of the DOE (Established Program to Stimulate Competitive Research) program, I am thrilled to see this program up and running and expanding the research capabilities within our state. Investments like this help our students and professors at WVU reach their full potential …” said U.S. Sen. Shelley Moore Capito, R-W.Va. “I will continue to do all I can to support their efforts on the federal level.”

She must, as must the others. They must become downright irritating about it, in fact. Imagine what we could accomplish, if they succeed.


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