The “Future of El Paso” Debacle

If you only get your news from El Chuqueño, you missed this piece of news.


The National Science Foundation has suspended a grant that could have meant $160 million for El Paso’s regional economy because of some “incorrect statements” in the proposal, according to the University of Texas at El Paso.

. . .

UTEP issued a statement to El Paso Matters Monday afternoon that said the university became aware in early April of potential errors in its proposal to the NSF for the Regional Innovation Engines program. An in-house review determined that the statements in question committed resources to the NSF that the institution did not have, according to the statement.

The resources in question were reportedly three airplane hangars and about 8,000 acres of test space.

It’s hard to look at this situation and not suspect some movida behind that action. Some ulterior motive. Some secret plan.

But sometimes a cigar is just a cigar.

The wheeler dealers may promise things that they don’t have. Yet. That’s a business model that’s promoted in every modern rags-to-riches movie. The protagonist bets all this chips on a long shot and somehow comes up a winner.

That’s what wheeler dealers do. Ride the flow. Keep swimming. Max out the credit cards and hope for the best.

But it’s a lot for someone who’s looking at it from an institutional standpoint.

My solid New England grandparents would never go for it. Cash in the bank, and we’re not risking more than we’re ready to lose.

I reckon the president of a mid-size university in Far West Texas might not go for it, either.

Or maybe it’s some movida.

Perhaps we’ll find out in the fullness of time.

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