CAC Contributes to News & Observer Series

Jan 9, 2020

Wood Pellets and Climate Change the Focus of New N&O Series

by Andrew Whelan

This week the Raleigh News & Observer ran a series of stories that examined the environmental and health impacts of North Carolina’s wood pellet industry. Clean Air Carolina spoke with the News & Observer for this series following our legal victory over Enviva Hamlet last summer. Please read and share these stories to help us spread the word on this industry’s destructive practices.

For the past several years Clean Air Carolina has been working hard to reign in the dangerous emissions produced by Enviva, the world’s largest wood pellet manufacturer. Enviva has expanded rapidly throughout rural North Carolina, clearcutting our forests to create wood pellets that they ship overseas to be burned as biofuel.

Wood pellet production accelerates climate change by devastating North Carolina’s forests, our greatest natural carbon sink, and by releasing that carbon back into the atmosphere when the wood is burned. It also releases air pollutants that cause serious health concerns for communities surrounding Enviva’s factories. Enviva likes to claim its product is “sustainable,” but the truth is that wood pellets are pound-for-pound dirtier than coal.

If you haven’t already, be sure to read these stories to learn how the overseas demand for wood pellets is driving climate change:

Enviva facilities have generated hundreds of tons of air pollution a year, critics say,” by Justin Catanoso
Europe uses tons of NC trees as fuel. Will this solve climate change?” by Saul Elbein
From Poland to NC, activists plea for reduced carbon dioxide,” by Justin Catanoso
World’s largest wood pellet maker both welcomed and condemned in NC,” by Richard Stradling

To learn more about how Enviva is endangering both North Carolina and our planet with their dirty biomass energy, check out some of the recent stories we’ve run on our website, as well as this excellent investigation into Enviva by Dogwood Alliance, Natural Resources Defense Council, and Southern Environmental Law Center:

Enviva Hamlet to Reduce VOC Emissions by 95% Following Our Legal Challenge,” by Daniel Parkhurst
Our Clear Cut Problem,” by Daniel Parkhurst
Global Markets for Biomass Energy are Devastating U.S. Forests,” by Dogwood Alliance, NRDC, and SELC