Biofuel Takes Root in Western North Carolina
by W. Stephen Burke (Citizen-Times) America and North Carolina have a clear imperative to augment imported, carbon-emitting, politically destabilizing and unsteadily priced petroleum-based liquid fuels with increased production of renewable biofuels. How to effectively gain new biofuels in coming years is a challenge still being shaped nationwide. North Carolina has emerged as one of the leading states to address that challenge, which merges agriculture, technology, energy, environment and economic development in unprecedented complexity.
By policy and strategy, North Carolina has committed to gain large capacity for biofuels and has set an ambitious goal: by 2017, 10 percent of the state’s liquid transportation fuels will come from biofuels grown and produced internally. The Biofuels Center of North Carolina, in Oxford on North Carolina’s Biofuels Campus and funded annually by the General Assembly, serves as the state’s lead agency for catalyzing this endeavor.
…The General Assembly has directed that the Tennessee Valley Authority settlement funds be appropriated to the center for its statewide mission. The center has directed a significant portion of those funds for a grants program targeted toward western counties, ideas, and projects. A Western North Carolina Biofuels Advisory Council has been convened to provide guidance for strengthening biofuels in this region. READ MORE