skip to main content
skip to newscasts

Wednesday, February 28, 2024

Public News Service Logo
facebook instagram linkedin reddit youtube twitter
view newscast page
play newscast audioPlay

Electric bus movement looks to accelerate; Macron says he has not ruled out using Western troop to help Ukraine stand-up to Russia; two rural Iowa newspapers saved from extinction; BLM announces added protections for sensitive Oregon landscape.

view newscast page
play newscast audioPlay

Speaker Johnson commits to avoiding a government shutdown. Republican Senators call for a trial of Homeland Security Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas. And a Democratic Senator aims to ensure protection for IVF nationwide.

view newscast page
play newscast audioPlay

David meets Goliath in Idaho pesticide conflict, to win over Gen Z voters, candidates are encouraged to support renewable energy and rural America needs help from Congress to continue affordable internet programs.

Energy Market for Wood Pellets Globally Threatens U.S. Forests

play audio
Play

Monday, March 20, 2023   

Overseas markets could be harming forests in the U.S. Demand for wood pellets for biomass energy has increased dramatically around the world, especially in Europe where burning wood is treated as renewable energy and heavily subsidized.

The UK-based company Drax Group plans to build a 450,000 ton per year wood pellet plant in Longview.

Peter Riggs, director of the Washington state-based nonprofit Pivot Point, said the region has a productive wood sector.

"This new wood pellet plant proposed for Longview is very different," Riggs pointed out. "First of all, it's not for the domestic market, it's not making pellets for home stoves. It represents a substantial and entirely new source of wood fiber demand for export."

Riggs said much of the biomass would be bound for Asia. His organization signed a letter, along with more than 100 others in the U.S. and Canada, calling for the European Union to stop incentivizing wood burning as renewable energy.

Laura Haight, U.S. policy director for the Partnership for Policy Integrity, said despite its label as renewable energy, burning wood from forests one of the worst activities for the environment. It releases emissions when burned and removes trees that store carbon. Haight's organization also signed the letter to the European Union, urging it to no longer classify forest biomass as renewable.

"It's the money that's driving this system," Haight asserted. "If they change that policy, then this will no longer be subsidized, and we can see a better future for our forests and for our climate."

Riggs noted solar and wind energy were subsidized, and the costs have gone down dramatically. However, the same is not true for forest biomass. He emphasized plant operators have struggled to reduce the costs involved in sourcing, transporting and burning biomass fuels.

"If they're going to subsidize it, you kind of got to subsidize it forever," Riggs contended. "But with wind and solar, those are already cost-competitive."

Disclosure: The Partnership for Policy Integrity contributes to our fund for reporting on Climate Change/Air Quality, Energy Policy, Environment, Environmental Justice. If you would like to help support news in the public interest, click here.


get more stories like this via email
more stories
A new report from California Competes outlined four main areas of action for colleges to take to reengage, reenroll, and propel comebacker students to completion. (Sacramento State/Jessica Vernone)

Social Issues

play sound

More than 6 million Californians stopped out of college before getting a degree and a new report has laid out a plan to bring them back on campus…


Social Issues

play sound

North Carolina's public school system is facing a crisis, according to the recently released "Public Schooling in America 2024" report. It ranks the …

Social Issues

play sound

In the 2023 legislative season, 25 states introduced legislation related to artificial intelligence and more than a dozen states enacted AI …


Colorado's I Matter program provides adolescents in crisis access to six free mental-health counseling sessions, with referrals for further help if it is necessary. (Pexels)

Health and Wellness

play sound

Advocates say Colorado legislative leaders are working to make the state a leader in addressing the youth mental health crisis. At least nine bills …

Social Issues

play sound

A coalition of organizations in Georgia is joining forces to combat the rising rate of suicide among children and teenagers. According to national …

States including California and Illinois have passed mental health legislation similar to what Michigan is now considering, without seeing increases to insurance premiums. (Drazen/Adobe Stock)

Health and Wellness

play sound

A House bill aimed at increasing access to mental health care in Michigan could go to a vote on the House floor at any time. Rep. Felicia Brabec…

Social Issues

play sound

Rep. Ben Toma, R-Peoria, Speaker of the Arizona House, has introduced legislation with hopes to curtail illegal immigration and save Arizonans big in …

play sound

Most school and transit buses on the nation's roadways these days are still powered by diesel engines but in Wisconsin and elsewhere, there is hope …

 

Phone: 303.448.9105 Toll Free: 888.891.9416 Fax: 208.247.1830 Your trusted member- and audience-supported news source since 1996 Copyright 2021