Thursday, July 28, 2005

Sugar Land celebrates sweetheart deal

Think Progress does it again.

Yesterday on ThinkProgress, we wrote that, after the conference for the energy bill closed, Tom DeLay slipped in “a $1.5 billion giveaway to the oil industry, Halliburton, and Sugar Land, Texas.” Specifically, the provision was written to benefit an consortium located in DeLay’s home district.

In today’s Boston Globe, Bill Wicker, a spokesman for Sen. Jeff Bingaman, disagreed:

“We don’t see this as a sweetheart deal for anyone.” Wicker said.

In case you had any doubts, check out this article about the provision, just published by the Houston Business Journal:

The final draft of the energy bill expected to be approved this weekend by House and Senate negotiators contains a research funding provision long awaited by a Sugar Land energy consortium…The Sugar Land-based Texas Energy Center has been counting on this source of funding ever since it was established two years ago…In 2003, the consortium was awarded $31 million in state economic development funds, but that funding later evaporated under regulations that stymied the consortium’s access to the money. The TEC has been basically on hold since then, waiting and hoping for federal funding to revive its mission.

Seems pretty clear to me.

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