Public documents, 350 pages’ worth, released at a records request from Raleigh’s News & Observer, showed UNC-Chapel Hill faculty were concerned about a legislative mandate to create an environmental think tank. Instructors requested permission to participate in meetings administrators were planning to hold to set up the North Carolina Policy Collaboratory. The think tank was established with $1 million in annual state funds, with another $3.5 million being offered if the university could match it. The authorizing legislation required a study of shellfish aquaculture and pollution controls at Jordan and Falls lakes. Other projects included informing the overhauling of the university’s power plant to run on natural gas instead of coal, and converting its fleet to run on alternative fuels. The organization’s mission is described as utilizing academic expertise to advise policy, but environmentalist organizations raised concerns that politics would taint the science. Stephen Leonard of the school’s political science department argued the Collaboratory’s involvement in matters of public interest require public accountability.