Trouble in the wood basket: How a global push for renewable energy took advantage of rural Mississippi

By Alex Rozier
Mississippi Today
April 9, 2024
Category: Carbon, Climate & Bioenergy
Region: United States, US East

When Georgia Pacific closed its paper mill in 2008, it gutted the local Gloster economy. …In the last decade, towns like Gloster turned to what they saw as a new hope: the emerging wood pellet industry. While the industry is now grappling with a variety of environmental objections, the state and local governments have invested millions of dollars in wood pellets, through tax exemptions and other incentives, in an attempt to stem rural disinvestment. In 2022, the world’s largest wood pellet producer came to another Mississippi town, Lucedale, 160 miles east of Gloster. The town was in a similar economic predicament. …Enviva, was bringing one of the largest new wood pellet operations in the world to Lucedale. …But in the process, the wood pellet industry has turned parts of rural Mississippi into venues for a climate and public health debate that’s traversing the globe. 

Read More