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Federal officials know this country has a host of issues to tackle as economies transition into areas that have traditionally fueled the nation. It took them a little longer to realize that they had the resources to help us do something about this. Little good news arrived last week, however, from the US Department of Energy, which announced $ 22 million in research funding for schools such as Boise State University, Montana State University, 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 intention of funding energy research projects in underserved areas, $ 22 million spread across nine universities is a good start, but it is not enough.

WVU, for example, will get $ 2.25 million of that amount, to “Characterization of ionized gases or plasmas whose applications range from understanding solar flares to advanced rocket propulsion, including the construction of fusion energy systems.”

Important things, but our delegation to Congress has its work cut out for it, if it is to federal officials to see the enormous talent dormant and unsupported in places like WVU.

“As a champion of the DOE (Program Established to Stimulate Competitive Research) program, I am delighted to see this program operational and to expand research capabilities within our state. Investments like this help our students and faculty at WVU reach their full potential ”, said U.S. Senator Shelley Moore Capito, RW.Va. “WVU and other institutions of higher education in West Virginia are proving that our research and development capabilities are world class, and I could not be more proud of their efforts. I will continue to do all I can to support their efforts at the federal level.

She must, as must the others. They must be getting downright irritating about it, actually.

Imagine what we could accomplish, if they are successful.

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