Republican Legislature slashes funding for innovative clean energy research:
The 5-year-old Oxford-based organization, which is created to help the state develop biofuels made from energy crops other than corn, lost its $4.3 million in annual funding under the reigning Republican majority in the state legislature. "The Center, a growing biofuels community statewide, and companies considering new facilities here share dismay that North Carolina has visibly pulled back from the nation’s lead state biofuels agency and from long-term commitment to comprehensive biofuels development,” Burke says in the release. “No longer pursuing advanced biofuels with a focused, comprehensive strategy will lessen opportunity to create rural jobs, strengthen agriculture, and create an enormous biofuels and biomaterials sector."
This really shouldn't come as a surprise to anybody. The Koch Brothers have been very active politically in North Carolina, and not just through their astroturf-powered Americans For the Prosperous. Any government-funded project that wants to take a bite out of the fossil fuel industry will likely get its teeth pulled, regardless of how promising economically it is. As a matter of fact, the more promising it is, the more likely it will suffer under the current regime.