DALLAS -- The House of Representatives is scheduled to vote today on the appropriations bill that contains funding for a key provision in the agreement to compensate Texas for its investment in the failed Super-conducting Super Collider project.
Part of the energy and water appropriations bill for fiscal 1995, the provision calls for providing a $65 million federal grant to develop a medical treatment and research center for proton cancer therapy at the super collider site south of Dallas.
Aaron Edmondson, staff assistant for the subcommittee on energy and water development, said the U.S. Senate-House conference committee last week recommended the appropriations bill for congressional approval. It will then go before the Senate in the near future. The medical center development grant is one of several primary components of an agreement reached last month between Texas and the federal Department of Energy to repay the Lone Star state for its investment in the super collider project, which was killed by Congress last year.
Under the agreement, Texas will receive $145 million in cash and the $65 million grant to help complete the linear accelerator for a medical research and care center that would use proton therapy. In addition, the state is getting $510 million in land, buildings, and equipment for its investment in the $11 billion project.
When the project was canceled by Congress, Texas already had spent about $539 million on the project, including the sale of $250 million of lease revenue bonds and $250 million of general obligation debt.
However, the state now should get the land, buildings, and cash to recoup the investment by the end of 1994. A tentative agreement is expected to be final then and Texas officials plan to decide how to reduce bond debt for the scrubbed project.
Officials have predicted that Congress will approve the $65 million grant and that a peer review of the medical and scientific feasibility of the medical research center will be positive.
Last weekend, U.S. Energy Secretary Hazel O'Leary was quoted as saying that she was confident legislation would pass.
Except for the $65 million grant, the rest of the settlement does not need congressional approval.
If built, the super collider would have been one of the biggest high energy physics projects in the world.