A national fossil fuel advocacy campaign has made its way into rural African-American communities of North Carolina, providing a tuition scholarship and connections after graduation.
Fueling U.S. Forward is a nonprofit organization that seeks to educate the public on the value of American fossil fuel energy. The group is funded by Koch Industries, an oil and petrochemicals conglomerate owned by billionaire brothers David and Charles Koch.
The Koch brothers promote the use of fossil fuels and do so through funding a network of organizations across the nation, like Fueling U.S. Forward. In an effort to prompt a fossil fuel resurgence, Fueling U.S. Forward is directing campaign attention to primarily rural African-American communities.
Hubbel Relat, the director of outreach for Fueling U.S. Forward, said Fueling U.S. Forward is making an effort to reach diverse racial minority communities — though he could not provide examples of scholarship recipients of other cultural backgrounds.
“Despite how important this industry is to all of our lives and our economy, the African-American communities and a lot of rural communities in general are underrepresented and left out of this industry," Relat said. "A lot of the time they are simply not made aware of the job opportunities in the industry.”