Monday, August 11, 2008

NBAF rankings

Some interesting reporting by The Associated Press on the process to rank the finalists for NBAF in which we learn that politics have apparently played a part in who's in the mix for this facility. The Bush Administration hasn't been terribly swayed by reality or data when making their decisions, so opting to rank lower-graded facilities higher than ones with better scores isn't shocking.

Still, while this is definitely discouraging for a variety of reasons, I don't think this should give any additional ammo to critics of placing NBAF in Athens-Clarke County. For instance, the reasons cited against locating the facility in Flora, Miss., revolved around proximity to existing research facilities and a lack of skilled workers to perform certain tasks. It had nothing to do with environmental or safety concerns, and that's important to note. It's shamelessly political, sure, but it suggests nothing about safety.

I think what this does underscore is that Athens-Clarke County is probably not going to land this facility. It's either going to Texas or Mississippi, and one has to think the latter due to how obviously political the former would appear.


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