From Dogwood Alliance:
Communities in the US South are no stranger to extractive industries that put greed over the health and prosperity of the people. We know too well the familiar story of profit-hungry corporations and politicians promising economic development and community care, but delivering low-paying jobs, environmental disasters, and health consequences that reverberate for decades.
But what Southerners also know is the strength, resilience, and power of community action. From the oil rigs of the Gulf South to the hog waste lagoons of North Carolina, Southern residents have always known how to come together to protect their health, heritage, and way of life.
Now, the wood pellet industry is disrupting the quality of life, public health, and safety of residents living in communities across the South. Once more, it is up to us to take a stand for our environment, health, and quality of life, and to ensure these basic rights are maintained for generations to come. Stopping this industry will take the action and support of people across the US. Passing an anti-biomass resolution will send a strong message to industry executives and policymakers that we stand united in demanding a clean and sustainable future.
The industrial-scale logging and production of wood pellets puts Southern residents at risk. The wood dust and fine particulate matter created in the production of wood pellets is leading to respiratory problems, creating a mess, and disrupting residents living near the facilities. The air and water quality of local communities is threatened by increased logging. The constant noise, at all hours, of wood pellet facilities disrupts the peace and sleep of residents of rural communities. The increased truck traffic from the facilities is clogging up the roads, damaging publicly funded roadways, and poses a serious safety concern to local commuters. Furthermore, this industry is being fueled by massive subsidies and incentives, all at the expense of local taxpayers. What few jobs the industry provides come at the expense of the forests, air, and water of communities.
The dirty biomass industry is not the future for our Southern communities or forests. We need long-term solutions that value the health and prosperity of people and the environment. And it is our right to demand this from policymakers and industry leaders. With organizing and action, we can pave the way for a future that puts the needs of the people before corporate profit, and values our forests for the myriad of life-supporting services they provide just by standing. Our Southern communities and forests are not resources that can be taken advantage of for the personal gain of greedy industries. They are vital components of a vibrant global community and ecosystem, and we must take action to make sure they continue to be so.
About Dogwood Alliance
Dogwood Alliance is increasing protection for millions of acres of Southern forests by transforming the way corporations, landowners and communities value them for their climate, wildlife and water benefits. Dogwood Alliance has revolutionized the environmental practices of some of the world’s largest corporations. For more information on the organization please visit www.dogwoodalliance.org or follow on Twitter @DogwoodAlliance.