McRaven: Hous­ton site is not ‘a dump’

Whit­mire claims ex-oil field ‘en­vi­ron­men­tally un­sound’ for new use.

Austin American-Statesman - - METRO&STATE - By Ralph K.M. Hau­r­witz rhau­r­witz@states­ UT

The chan­cel­lor of the Univer­sity of Texas Sys­tem, re­spond­ing to crit­i­cism from a state sen­a­tor, says land the sys­tem bought in Hous­ton is part of an aban­doned oil field but can read­ily be de­vel­oped into a new cam­pus.

Sen. John Whit­mire, D-Hous­ton, charged that the tract is “en­vi­ron­men­tally un­sound” and “a dump” dur­ing a Se­nate Fi­nance Com­mit­tee hear­ing. Whit­mire op­poses a new UT cam­pus in Hous­ton.

“Are you fa­mil­iar with the history of this piece of land? It’s en­vi­ron­men­tally un­sound. It’s an oi­land-gas aban­doned field,” he told Chan­cel­lor Bill McRaven and UT Board of Re­gents Chair­man Paul Fos­ter dur­ing the hear­ing.

“There’s a rea­son you’re able to get 300 acres locked up south­west of the dome,” Whit­mire said, re­fer­ring to the Astrodome. “Be­cause no one else wants it . ... It’s a dump. This is noth­ing but you, in my judg­ment, bail­ing out some land spec­u­la­tors.”

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