FOE calls on Governor Cooper to preserve North Carolina’s forestsContesting the Massive Clearcutting and Disproportionate Impact of Pollution in Communities of Color by the Wood Pellet Industry
North Carolina- Today community leaders and organizations from rural North Carolina counties impacted by the wood burning biomass industry held a press conference, rally, and delivered a petition to Gov. Cooper contesting future grants, incentives, and permits for energy projects that are not a part of the Clean Energy Plan of the NCDEQ and Governor Cooper’s Executive Order 80, which supports NC’s transition to a clean energy economy.
Donna Chavis, Friends of the Earth’s Senior Climate Campaigner and a recognized leader in the environmental justice movement nationwide, issued the following statement in response:
Governor Cooper proclaims to be a climate and environmental justice leader. Yet, our state has provided over $7 million in subsidies to support and expand the climate-destroying wood pellet industry. North Carolina exports more wood pellets than any other state in the nation.
Our forests support biodiversity, remove carbon from the atmosphere and provide natural protection in rural communities from severe flooding, hurricanes, and drought. Destroying forests to supply the globe with wood pellets exacerbates the climate crisis at home and abroad.
Governor Cooper must take action today by directing the NC Department of Environmental Quality (DEQ) to fully evaluate the impact of the wood pellet industry on our forests, communities, and public health. He must halt all subsidies, grants and incentives for energy schemes that are not a part of or do not support the NC Clean Energy Plan.
Chavis works and organizes in North Carolina, where EPA Director Michael Regan was secretary of the North Carolina Department of Environmental Quality from 2017 to 2021 under Governor Cooper.
This will be the first in a series of public education and action events focused on the growth of this dirty industry in rural Eastern North Carolina, the poorest and most racially diverse region in the state.
Participating organizations include:
7 Directions of Service
Blue Ridge Environmental Defense League
Center for Biological Diversity
Clean Water for North Carolina
Climate Reality Project Orange County, NC Chapter
Coastal Plain Conservation Group
Concerned Citizens of Northampton County
Concerned Citizens Of Richmond County
Down East Coal Ash Environmental and Social Justice Coalition
Edenton Farmers Market
Extinction Rebellion Charlotte
Friends of the Earth
Haw River Assembly
Middle Sound Lookout
NAACP Charlotte-Mecklenburg Branch
NAACP New Hanover County
NAACP Robeson County
NC Climate Justice Collective
NC Climate Solution Coalition
NC Climate Solutions Coalition
NC-APPPL: Alliance to Protect Our People and the Places We Live
Ocean Natural Farm
Phil Berrigan Memorial Chapter Veterans For Peace
Plastic Ocean Project
Rachel Carson Council
RedTailed Hawk Collective
RICHMOND CLEAN AIR COALITION
Robeson County Cooperative for Sustainable Development
Southern Forests Conservation Coalition
Spruill Farm Conservation: Project
The Climate Reality Project Charlotte Chapter
Toxic Free North Carolina
Triangle Women’s International League for Peace and Freedom
Tuesdays with Tillis Indivisible
Winyah Rivers Alliance
Communications Contact: Friends of the Earth, Aisha Dukule, 202-893-3502, [email protected]
Expert Contacts: Friends of the Earth, Donna Chavis, [email protected]
Dogwood Alliance, Scot Quaranda, 828-242-3596, [email protected]