Walden secures $950,000 for OIT in House bills
Congressman Walden (R-Ore.) secured $950,000 in funding for the Oregon Institute of Technology (OIT) in two separate appropriations bills approved by the House this week, he announced during a visit to Klamath Falls to tour OIT. The bills still need to be reconciled with Senate versions that do not include the funding and must be signed by the President.
"OIT does incredible work advancing the future of applied technology and professional studies in southern Oregon and the state as a whole and these funds could only bolster those efforts," Walden said. "I am proud to represent OIT and will continue to do everything I can to support the superb programs, staff, faculty, and students at the institute."
The funding was included in the form of two separate earmarks in House appropriations bills:
Ø $350,000 in the Labor, Health and Human Services Appropriations bill for the Oregon Center for Health Professions at OIT
The House of Representatives approved this appropriations bill with the funding Walden secured on July 19. The Senate version had no funding for OIT, so Walden will be urging our senators to defer to the House version in the conference report. The equipment will be used by students in allied health profession courses for on-campus practice that will allow the next generation of health professionals to immediately enter the area's medical centers and clinics upon graduation. About 600 students per year would use the machines. OIT is the only university in Oregon that offers bachelor's degrees in a variety of allied health professions including dental hygiene, respiratory care, ultrasound, echocardiography, and radiological science.
"This earmark is an added bonus of federal support for this much-needed Center," said OIT President Martha Anne Dow. "It will help us equip our allied health programs with state-of-the-industry equipment which is very expensive. We appreciate Congressman Walden's longstanding support of OIT."
Ø $600,000 in the Energy and Water Appropriations bill for the Geo-Heat Center at OIT
The House of Representatives approved this appropriations bill with the funding Walden secured on July 17. Again, the Senate must agree to include these funds in the version of the bill that goes to the President. This money would help OIT construct a high-temperature geothermal power plant on campus. When the Geothermal Power Generation Project is complete, OIT will be the only campus in the world to satisfy all of its electricity needs from a geothermal energy source. The power plant would use high-temperature water and steam from a 5,000- to 6,000-foot deep geothermal well to generate approximately one megawatt of electricity. Walden is the co-chair of the House Northwest Energy Caucus, the vice-chair of the House Renewable Energy Caucus, and is a member of the Select Committee on Energy Independence and Global Warming.
"OIT is grateful for the support of Congressman Greg Walden and the outstanding work he has done for the university," Dow said. "I was pleased to hear that Congressman Walden has secured $600,000 for our geothermal power generation facility. The geothermal facility is an exciting, one-of-a-kind project. When the plant comes to fruition, OIT will be the first university in the world to be fully powered by geothermally-produced electricity. This power plant will help teach current and future generations of students about the practical applications of an important renewable energy source. We know how hard Congressman Walden worked to secure this funding, and we appreciate his efforts and commitment to the students at OIT."
Congressman Walden has made all his earmark requests public on his website. Click here to view the full list of submitted requests.