Our Forests. Our Strength.
That means we are:
North Carolina forests and communities face terrible threats from the biomass industry. Our NC forests are being clearcut, turned into wood pellets, and shipped to Europe to be burned for electricity. This is not renewable energy.
Enviva also operates a facility in Virginia near our border. By conservative estimates, meeting the production capacity of these four facilities requires logging nearly 50,000 acres of forest per year—often in ecologically important, native hardwood forests.
Every single one of Enviva’s NC plants is located in an environmental justice community – communities below the state median income and where at least 25% of the population are people of color. These communities are already burdened with other polluting industries, and Enviva’s facilities threaten local residents with harmful toxins and a degraded quality of life.
Forest conservation and restoration are critical to meeting those goals. Forests are the most powerful way to pull carbon from the atmosphere. Regrowth of forests in other areas removes about one-third of the carbon emitted to the atmosphere by burning fossil fuels. But, forests are burned for electricity, it immediately emits large amounts of carbon to the atmosphere. The more biomass that’s burned, the larger those emissions.
Forests need to be at the forefront of the agenda on:
We’re calling on Governor Cooper to stand by his vision of clean air and a healthy environment as the path to a strong economy and healthy future. We call on him to stand for the environment, stand for justice, and stand for forests.
Georgia is at a crossroads: we can either continue down the old path of industry that pollutes our environment, makes climate change worse, and leaves our rural communities behind, or we can look forward to new and innovative solutions.
Georgia Biomass, outside of Waycross, Georgia, is home to one of the largest wood pellet plants in the world. The industry claims it only uses waste wood from timber harvests, but it has a proven record of logging whole trees in precious forests.
Burning wood pellets for fuel increases carbon emissions and pollutes communities while reducing their resilience to the ever-stronger storms we’re seeing from climate change. We simply can’t afford this type of unchecked, destructive growth at a time when we need to be investing in solutions that put our state on the path to climate resiliency.
Thankfully, some counties and cities in Georgia are already taking action to stand up against the forest destruction of the biomass industry. Energy from burning wood pellets is not economically competitive with true renewables like solar and wind.
Resolutions calling for an end to incentives and subsidies to the biomass industry are important tools to stop the growth of the industry. These keep more forests standing. A growing number of these resolutions are being passed across the state. Other municipalities are passing 100% clean energy resolutions calling for all energy used to be produced by true clean, renewable energy sources by a certain date. These are all a good start, and Dogwood Alliance has resources to help you get started in your town.
Teams dotted across Georgia, in Atlanta, Statesboro, Savannah, Athens, Valdosta, and sprouting up elsewhere are educating their communitities through tabling, presentations, and meetings with their elected officials. Are you ready to be part of the solution?