The leaders of North Carolina’s state Senate repeatedly say they want to run government like a business.
The clean energy economy in North Carolina accounts for 1,000 firms and 34,000 fulltime jobs – more than 8,000 added in the last year. Annual revenues in the state’s clean energy economy totals $6.4 billion – an increase of $2.5 billion over the prior year.
A smartly-run business would look to foster and expand the growth of such a healthy sector of the economy. But, from the looks of the budget bill approved last week, the state Senate has a different approach. The Senate budget:
- Kills energy centers at N.C. State, N.C. A&T State and Appalachian State universities. These centers are innovation hubs for conventional and renewable energy and serve to attract and recruit businesses and jobs.
- Slashes funding to match federal U.S. Energy Department grants to the Research Triangle Institute to support energy research.
- Imposes a three-year ban on wind energy facilities in the state “to study the extent and scope of military operations in the state … and the impact of future wind energy infrastructure on military operations.”