Congress plans to invest $2 million in Lamar University energy project


Lamar University could receive $2 million for a project to ensure Texas always has access to the energy supply it needs.

In late June, the U.S. House Appropriations Subcommittee on Energy and Water Development and Related Agencies gave the funding its first necessary approval before pouring it into the coffers of the school.

But the project is not yet a certainty.

Then the process must be approved by the full appropriations committee, which could make changes to the actions taken by the subcommittee.

If the bill passes the Committee of the Whole, it will be scheduled for consideration on the floor where the whole of Congress can weigh in.

If Congress approves the bill, it will go to the Senate.

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Both chambers will strive to reconcile the differences between their respective versions since both have identical appropriations committee and subcommittee structures.

The next fiscal year begins October 1 and the process should be completed before that date.

According to a press release from U.S. District 14 Representative Randy Weber, the project would spur regional economic development, create well-paying jobs, and improve the country’s long-term sustainability and global energy supply.

“By using data analytics tools to improve cybersecurity, this project ensures that Texas will continue to lead the country in reliable power generation,” the statement said.

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In an April letter Weber sent to Appropriations Committee Chair Rose DeLauro, D-Connecticut, and Ranking Member Kay Granger, R-Texas, more details about the project.

The project is intended to build on the achievements of Lamar’s existing centers – Center for Resiliency, Center for Midstream Management and Sciences, and Center for Advances in Port Management – in developing data analytics tools to improve the energy and petrochemical cybersecurity of the Texas in order to “achieve more secure, resilient, and economically viable operations in physical and virtual space.”

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The project would include working with the Southeast Texas Regional Planning Committee, the Ports of Beaumont and Port Arthur, and local industry.

“Texas’ energy and petrochemical industry depends on the reliable transfer of raw materials and products through millions of miles of gas, oil and gas pipelines as well as shipping and logistics operations at the ports of Houston, Beaumont and Port Arthur,” the letter read.

Frequent natural disasters such as floods and hurricanes were noted in the letter as a reason to establish a networking hub and data collaboration for “enhanced multi-disaster resilience.”

“If we receive this support, we will work closely with our congressional delegate to develop a center of excellence,” said Jerry Lin, Lamar University associate vice provost for sponsored research and programs and dean of the College of Graduate Studies. “This center of excellence will have multiple components that include research, education and outreach.”

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Although the project may not receive funding at the end of the budget process, Lin said it was still important that Texas forces be made public.

“In Southeast Texas, particularly in the Beaumont, Port Arthur and Orange area, collective industrial operations represent a critical (part) of the clean energy and resilience initiative as well as energy security for the nation and also for the global community,” he said. . “Lamar University will be able to contribute positively to this larger global initiative.”

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