Executive Watch: Wood Pellets Warning

Executive Watch: Wood Pellets Warning

The development of North Carolina’s wood pellet fuel industry has been a growing environmental concern in our state — and the executive branch is finally acknowledging the warnings.

During Gov. Roy Cooper’s House Natural Resources Committee testimony on climate change last week, a member pressed him to address the state’s wood pellet industry. Rep. Bruce Westerman (R-Arkansas) sought to elicit Cooper’s endorsement of that industry, but didn’t get it. Instead, Cooper acknowledged the growing climate change concern regarding the industry.

For good reason: The next day, Cooper’s administration released its revised greenhouse gas emissions inventory, and for the first time, it flagged wood pellet manufacture as a source of concern. Burning those pellets counts as a carbon release, but the report did not attempt to quantify those impacts. Officials cited inadequate data, but promised an effort to add that data in future reports. (Links to the final inventory were not available at CIB press time.)

While short of the action advocates sought to curtail the use of wood pellets, the acknowledgement of a developing problem represents a step forward.

Up next, Mr. Cooper Goes to Washington >>

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