Harvesting American forests for the EU’s ‘green’ electricity plants

Wood-processing plants around the South are turning trees into pellets and then exporting them to be burned in electricity plants in the EU. It’s part of the EU’s initiative to generate “green” electricity, but scientists question whether burning trees is really carbon neutral, according to FERN’s latest story, published with The Weather Channel.

Carson Vaughan reports that these “renewable energy” plants have been criticized for hastening global warming. Proponents, including those at Enviva, a company which has plants across the South, say that since trees are replanted they eventually suck up the carbon the burned wood creates.

The wood-processing plants are controversial in another regard — they are largely located in communities of color, where nearby residents worry about the pollution and complain about dust and noise. The full story, with photos by George Steinmetz, is available at FERN’s site and on The Weather Channel.

Correction: A previous version of this item misspelled the name of the energy company Enviva.