Wood Pellet Giant Drax Targets California Forests: Excerpt

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 “Plans for two industrial pellet plants would increase carbon
emissions and hurt the health of rural communities, campaigners warn.

The wood pellets Drax produces are treated as
“carbon neutral” under international accounting rules, based on an
assumption that new-growth trees will capture the carbon lost by wood
burnt for electricity. But scientists and campaigners have long disputed these claims. 

A 2021 study from the European Academies Science Advisory Council concluded
that burning wood for energy “is not effective in mitigating climate
change and may even increase the risk of dangerous climate change.” A
power station operated by Drax in the UK generates 8 percent of the UK’s “renewable” electricity, but is also the single largest emitter of carbon dioxide.

Golden State Natural Resources claims its forest management
techniques reduce the risk of wildfires — a claim which has also been disputed
by campaigners — and that it maintains “stringent guardrails” to ensure
the sourcing of materials for pellets is sustainable. Drax also says
its pellets are made from “sustainable biomass” generated from
low-grade roundwood, sawmill residues, and forest residues — although
several investigations have found instances of the company using primary forest materials.