Soaring demand for woody fuel has led to the construction of more than two dozen pellet factories in the Southeast and special port. European officials promote the trade as part of the fight against climate change. But that claim is increasingly coming under challenge.
Last week’s editorial “The EPA’s not-so-green emissions plan” in the Washington Post rightfully asserted that a wholesale switch from coal to wood as a fuel source for generating electricity would take us in the wrong direction on climate change. It would increase carbon emissions at the smokestack, while also degrading forests’ ability to remove and store carbon from the atmosphere. But the note at the end…
You know you’ve effectively gotten the attention of the media when they ask you to speak on a panel about your campaign at the Society of Environmental Journalists annual conference. On September 7th, I hopped a plane to New Orleans to debate Seth Ginther, the Executive Director of the US Industrial Wood Pellet Association, in front of a roomful of journalists. Over the last few of years, coal burning power plants have been converted to burn wood pellets as a supposedly clean and renewable energy source.
Whole trees are being converted into pellets, and shipped across the ocean to European power plants – all in the name of “clean energy.” Our new infographic is a great visual tool for understanding the issue.