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Biomass is a Non-Solution... and a Dirty Deal

The People's Justice Council is planning a series of expert speaker panels this summer documenting "non-solutions" to the climate crisis and dirty deals that sacrifice People and Planet on the altars of Power and Profit. The broad heading of biomass-related energy, which often refers to wood chip pellet plants in the South, is just such a dirty deal.

Industry proponents make the false claim that biomass is "carbon neutral", i.e., that it does not add "new" (actually, quite old) carbon to the atmosphere, as the burning of fossil fuels such as coal, oil, and gas does. However, this is a lie; in fact, when one considers the energy required to harvest, transport, and refine wood chips and other biomass fuel, biomass emits more greenhouse gas emissions than burning coal.

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The People’s Justice Council Position on Biomass

The biomass energy industry turns trees into wood pellets and then burns them for power at utility scale. Biomass companies falsely tout this process as clean energy, but burning trees for power can emit more carbon pollution than burning coal, and the industry causes long-lasting damage to forests and wildlife. Southern Environmental Law Center

The People’s Justice Council (PJC) and Alabama Interfaith Power & Light (ALIPL, a program of PJC) stand with our partners, including Dogwood Alliance, EEECHO, and Southern Environmental Law Center, in warning that wood pellets and other similar biomass projects are a threat to Southern forests, human health, and a stable climate. It is a lie that such projects are “carbon neutral.” They should hold no place in renewable energy portfolios or other climate solutions. In addition, the harms done from the negative effects of wood pellet production on people and planet make this immoral. Continuing wood pellet production is a moral failure.

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