skip to main content
skip to newscasts

Friday, June 14, 2024

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

The Supreme Court throws out a Trump-era ban on gun bump stocks; a look at how social media algorithms and Shakespearian villains have in common; and states receive federal funding to clean up legacy mine pollution.

view newscast page
play newscast audioPlay

The Supreme Court for now protects access to abortion drug mifepristone, while Senate Republicans block a bill protecting access to in-vitro fertilization. Wisconsin's Supreme Court bans mobile voting sites, and colleges deal with funding cuts as legislatures target diversity programs.

view newscast page
play newscast audioPlay

As summer nears, America's newest and largest international dark sky sanctuary beckons, rural job growth is up, but full recovery remains elusive, rural Americans living in prison towns support a transition, while birth control is more readily available in rural areas.

Climate Groups Spotlight Destruction Linked to Wood Pellet Industry

play audio
Play

Tuesday, March 21, 2023   

Climate-change groups are calling attention to the environmental destruction linked to the wood pellet industry - even as California is considering a proposal to build two plants. The U.S. is the biggest wood pellet exporter in the world - mostly to Europe.

Laura Haight, U.S. policy director for the Partnership for Policy Integrity, wants the European Union and the U.K. to change their policies.

"In Europe, they treat burning wood as renewable energy and heavily subsidize it. And they're importing massive quantities of wood pellets to fuel their power plants," she said. "And a lot of that is coming from the United States. That's where a lot of our forest destruction is happening. "

More than 100 groups recently wrote
to European Union leaders asking them to prohibit subsidies for wood that comes from living trees. Wood pellet companies claim they only use waste wood from logging or dead wood in the forest that fuels wildfire. But investigations have produced proof that companies have clear-cut forests in the southeastern U.S.

Haight added that burning wood for energy is terrible for the climate.

"There's a large release of carbon dioxide emissions into the air when you burn it. And at the same time, you're removing the tree that is helping us lock in our carbon and so you're both increasing emissions and reducing our capacity to store carbon," she said.

Two wood pellet plants -- the first of their kind in California -- are proposed for Lassen and Tuolumne counties. The plants would be built by Golden State Natural Resources, a public benefit corporation whose board members are local county officials.

Elly Pepper, deputy director of international wildlife conservation for the Natural Resources Defense Council, opposes the projects.

"It would be bad for the air, bad for the wildlife and lands, bad for the communities. And it would be basically California assenting to bioenergy as a renewable energy source when it's most definitely not," Pepper said.

The company did not respond to a request for comment but says on its website that the plants would quote "procure and process sustainably sourced excess forest vegetation into a pelletized renewable fuel source to replace the use of coal."

Disclosure: 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
The wells providing water on Santee Tribal lands had manganese levels more than 50 times greater than what is considered safe for adults. Excessively high manganese can cause problems with memory, attention and motor skills. (Adobe Stock)

Social Issues

play sound

Members of the Nebraska Santee Sioux Tribe hope a solution to their five-year water ordeal may be on the way. Their tap water has been unusable for …


play sound

Hurricane season is here, and conservationists are shining a light on the role salt marshes play in protecting coastal North Carolina communities…

Social Issues

play sound

This weekend, Father's Day will be tough for children with a dad in jail or prison. More than 200,000 kids in Michigan have had an incarcerated …


While Wisconsin's Supreme Court blocked the use of mobile voting sites for absentee ballots, observers say they're not widely used compared with other types of alternative sites. (Adobe Stock)

Social Issues

play sound

Local election administrators have new guidance from Wisconsin's highest court on alternative early voting sites. A political expert says the timing …

Environment

play sound

When Minnesota farmers watch their crops grow this summer, some will monitor land that has better soil health. It's because of a fairly popular …

The Bipartisan Infrastructure Law allocated a total of $16 billion to address legacy pollution, including $11.3 billion in Abandoned Mind Land funding over 15 years. (Adobe Stock)

Environment

play sound

West Virginia will receive $140 million to clean up legacy pollution in regions decimated by decades of coal mining. The money is part of $725 …

Environment

play sound

Close to 200 events are planned now through Sunday at California state parks for the third annual State Parks Week. The events advance Gov. Gavin …

Environment

play sound

The Supreme Court is expected to rule any day now on two cases that could allow judges to more easily overrule federal agencies, which could have big …

 

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