As Financial Turmoil Threatens Plans for an Alabama Wood Pellet Plant, Advocates Question Its Climate and Community Benefits

By Lee Hedgepeth
Inside Climate News
December 15, 2023
Category: Carbon, Climate & Bioenergy
Region: United States, US East

EPES, Ala.—Portia Shepherd said “it’s a God thing.” When she learned that Enviva, an international wood pellet company, is facing a financial crisis that may impact its plans in Alabama, she was thrilled. Shepherd is the founder of BlackBelt Women Rising, a nonprofit committed to environmental justice in the community. She’s been a vocal opponent of Enviva’s planned wood pellet plant in Epes, Alabama, a majority-Black town of just a few hundred people.  In recent months, financial turmoil at the biomass company has begun to cast doubt on the future of Enviva’s investments in the state. In its quarterly earnings report, the company disclosed a crisis, writing that “conditions and events in the aggregate raise substantial doubt regarding the company’s ability to continue as a going concern.”

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