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Regents Must Review UC-BP Deal | Oil Watchdog

Press Release

Regents Must Review UC-BP Deal


Wed, Oct 31, 2007 at 12:47 pm

    Regents Must Review UC-BP Deal

    October 31, 2007

    CONTACT: John M. Simpson, 310-392-0522, x317, or cell: 310-292-1902

    Consumer Advocates Insist UC Regents Review $500 Million "UC-BP" Deal; Demand Proposed Contract Terms Be Made Public

    Santa Monica, CA — The University of California Board of Regents
    must approve any contract with BP creating the controversial Energy
    Biosciences Institute at UC Berkley before it is signed, The Foundation
    for Taxpayer and Consumer Rights (FTCR) insisted today.

    The group also demanded the contract be made public before it is signed.

    "The administration is on the verge of transforming California’s
    premier public university into UC-BP without any real discussion or
    oversight by the Regents," said John M. Simpson, FTCR consumer advocate
    and member of its OilWatchdog.org project.

    Announced last February, the $500 million deal envisions
    bringing 50 BP scientists to the Berkeley campus to conduct secret
    proprietary research. Though the deal was proposed nine months ago,
    negotiations on the contract have taken the last nine months. The
    proposed pact — still secret — is now in the office of UC President
    Robert Dynes. There have been reports it could be signed next week.

    In a letter to Dynes and Richard C. Blum, Chairman of the Regents, Simpson said such action would be "unacceptable."

    "The people of California are shareholders of the University of
    California and they, and their representatives, deserve an opportunity
    to comment on a momentous change in the system — not simply be
    presented with a fait d’accomplis," Simpson wrote.

    Click here to read Simpson’s letter.

    A half-billion dollar grant will change the face of research at
    California’s premier public institution forever, letting the agenda be
    set by corporate interests, FTCR warned. While routine research grants
    have been ratified at the local campus level, this proposal is anything
    but ordinary.

    "Clearly such a deal that could change the course of higher
    education in the state must be discussed and ratified by the Regents
    and its proposed terms released so that the public may offer comments,"
    Simpson wrote.

    – 30 –

    The Foundation for Taxpayer and Consumer Rights is California’s
    leading non-profit and non-partisan consumer watchdog group. For more
    information visit us on the web at: www.ConsumerWatchdog.org and www.OilWatchdog.org.

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