Major News Series Exposes the Biomass Controversy

2020 kicked off with important, major coverage of the wood pellet industry in two major North Carolina papers, the Raleigh News & Observer and the Durham Herald Sun. On the heels of our campaign victory achieved in the NC Clean Energy Plan in November, this is another significant break-through on biomass in North Carolina.

These front page stories and several online stories are the culmination of nearly a year of research and reporting by two Pulitzer Center granted journalists.

Our team at Dogwood Alliance and many of our partners provided data, sources, and quotes. The series also contains  an interview with North Carolina’s Department of Environmental Quality Secretary, Michael Regan, in which he criticizes biomass and says he doesn’t “see a future in wood pellets.”

With this series, we see how the wood pellet industry has gone from a little-known issue in North Carolina to one of the most well-covered, top environmental issues in the state, and our elected officials are paying attention.

Not only are North Carolina leaders waking up to the biomass scam, but elected officials throughout the US South are taking a stand against forest destruction and false energy solutions.

In Georgia, during last year’s legislative session, State Senator Lester Jackson introduced the Stand4Forests resolution, SR108. This year, we could see the resolution go to the floor for a vote! That means 2020 could be the year that Georgia officially stands for forests, endorsing the national Stand4Forests platform that opposes false solutions like biomass and advances protections for standing forests.

In 2020, we’ll be continuing to build a broad, strong public movement fighting for forest protection, climate action, and environmental justice.

We’ll continue our strategic advocacy to policymakers in NC, throughout the region and abroad, to turn their statements into real, immediate action that pulls the brakes on the destructive wood pellet industry and ensures more protections that keep our beautiful Southern forests standing.

See links to the stories below, and please share with your networks and on social media using the hashtags #StopEnviva and #Stand4Forests.


One Response to “Major News Series Exposes the Biomass Controversy”

  1. Dow Bancroft

    Regarding the comments by the head of NCDEQ Michael Regan on the wood pellet industry
    First, DEQ is the wrong department to be looking into this issue. The NC Department of Forestry is the one we should be questioning. DEQ only regulates air quality as it is effected by industry. It has no authority when it comes to forest destruction.

    Second, the claim Regan makes about gaining forests comes from Forestry. A statement that assumes that it is possible to plant trees and call it a forest. Until those trees reach maturity (30 plus years) they do not provide the same benefits as mature forests. They do not prevent erosion, they do not provide habitat, they do not create a watershed and they do not clean pollutants out of the air and they do not provide lumber for construction.

    This whole thing is a “smokescreen” to allow our forests to be cut down and sold as wood pellets to sent overseas to be burnt for generating electricity.

    We are losing our forests at a rapid pace while a few people get rich. The Department of Forestry is the one we should be questioning.


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