In October, a formal update on the oil and gas lease and research project proposed by the University of Tennessee Institute of Agriculture will be made to the UT Board of Trustees.
Over the past six months, feedback on the project has come from inside and outside the University, both supporting and opposing the project . In March, the State Building Commission (SBC) gave approval to the University to issue a request for proposals (RFP). On June 7, an RFP was issued, inviting oil and gas companies to bid on the lease. Deadline for submission of proposals is Aug. 7.
A detailed presentation and status update on the project will be given to the UT Board during its October meeting.
“By then, the University will have more specific information about the research that would be conducted,” UT President Joe DiPietro said. “The presentation also will explain how conflict-of-interest issues would be addressed.
“This update for our Board is being planned as part of our continued spirit of transparency throughout the process. If the University plans to move forward with the project at the conclusion of the RFP process, SBC approval of the lease would be required, but it would not be sought until after the Board of Trustees’ meeting on October 17-18.”
UT has managed the property within its Forest Resources AgResearch and Education Center in Morgan County since the 1930s, when that property was acquired by the University from a coal mining company.
In that time, the UT Institute of Agriculture has reforested the property, and hundreds of forestry, wildlife, and associated social, biological, and ecological research programs have been and continue to be conducted.
For more information: https://ag.tennessee.edu/gasandoil/Pages/default.aspx