Who dropped this ball??? (updated)

The National Science Foundation (NSF) has dropped out of the Homestake Lab project — and the kicker — they made this call back in December.  This is coming to light as Sen. Johnson questioned the Secretary of Energy Steven Chu.  The minor good news out of this is that the Energy Secretary still supports the project but without their 50/50 partnership with NSF its going to be much smaller….

Read it here

Okay so it’s not like projects haven’t been defunded or threatened to be defunded before one — but thanks to our “hardworking” politicians….we usually get to hear all about the battle so that if we lose the funding we won’t blame the elected officials for not doing their job for us honest, hard-working South Dakotans.  This is the first peep I’ve heard of this…

(okay so now I’ve found a RC Journal article from December — and yes I do read that paper)

So what the heck….whose door does this stop in front of?  Johnson is listed in the article as a supporter of the project, Rounds was still Governor at this time — Lt. Gov. Daugaard was just elected to be Governor, Thune was active in Washington, Noem hadn’t taken office yet and Herseth-Sandlin was AWOL somewhere between DC and SD.

In December, Science Insider (no it’s not normally on my reading list) detailed the head of the NSF oversight board giving the project the bum’s rush.  It reads a bit like an abrupt turn around — scientists developing new exciting research — and then poof — it’s no longer consistent with the NSF’s mission and by the way we are not even gonna help you finish up design work or safety issues on a project that was originally our idea.

Since the head of the oversight board is from Oregon State University and the project is being led by UC Berkley in conjunction with Mines…..could this be about an academic grudge?  Not that it really matters…..at the end of the day those elected to look out for our state’s interests didn’t get it done.

18 Replies to “Who dropped this ball??? (updated)”

    1. Kristi Golden

      Yep you are right. Missed this in December….but I still have to wonder about who dropped the ball — and where was the advocacy from our elected Reps?

      1. Mr. Obvious

        Looks like lots of blame to go around, considering all the promises to secure future funding. It’s a shame because a lot of people put their heart and sould into that hole, not to mention ten of millions of dollars. Thanks for giving it some attention!

  1. Shelly

    Good grief. This was discussed back when Rounds proposed the 2012 budget. This is what happens when “unnecessary” government spending is cut – it’s all pork until it’s a federally funded project you want in your state.

  2. anon

    I like the line about Herseth being “AWOL somewhere between SD and DC”. It’s funny stuff!

    I wasn’t aware of this story either… It was a good read.

  3. Name

    Academic grudge with Cal??? Seriously may be the funniest thing I have ever read. One of the premier universities in the world would not have a grudge with Mines, especially when it would help them gain more research capabilities. This has to do with the GOP taking an axe to the NSF, with small projects going first. Now what does the state do with all the money they threw in that hole when the future was in doubt..aka the last 2 years?

  4. golden

    Maybe some of that money can come back into K-12 Education. Instead of betting on the come, let’s invest in what we already know we have.

  5. Les

    And Ainsworth Benning the local favorite is awarded the 8 million $ campus at level 45 or near about while it has been long known SD will continue to pave this road.

  6. Name

    Kristi, John and Tim as they are the voice of SD and I would guess they did not want to make a commitment to anyone. Just blame others not those who represent the people of SD……….

  7. Norske

    If defense is off the table, SS and Medicare are off the table, tax increases for the wealthy (or anyone else) is off the table, and we don’t raise the debt ceiling and so wind up doubling or tripling the U.S. Treasury’s cost of borrowing, you can bend over and kiss Homestake Lab goodbye. Its funding cannot / will not survive if just about any combination of two or more of the above factors happens.

  8. SDSU Police

    Speaking of spending holes. Let’s take a look at sdsu spending money like water, like university student union pay to park, new entrances to campus, rename buildings signs, raising parking fee’s on employee’s parking fee’s ( pay to work) thank Deen. Or stupid remodels to move people around or make up job titles for some worker who should have left the system long ago be cause he is a ( problem) just being kind there. With out any monitoring or someone controlling the system besides the boreeejeks. The big boy’s with big heads do as they please. Just my opinion. With Love and no raises we get to work on new buildings and new remods.


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