UK’s Drax targets California forests for two major wood pellet plants

By Justin Catanoso
May 6, 2024
Category: Carbon, Climate & Bioenergy
Region: United States, US West

CALIFORNIA — Golden State Natural Resources (GSNR), a California state-funded nonprofit focused on rural economic development, along with the UK’s Drax, have signed an agreement to move ahead on a California project to build two of the biggest wood pellet mills in the US. The mills, if approved by the state, would produce 1 million tons of pellets for export annually to Japan and South Korea. The pellet mills would represent a major expansion of U.S. biomass production outside the U.S. Southeast, where most pellet making has been centered. GSNR promotes the pellet mills as providing jobs, preventing wildfires and reducing carbon emissions. California forest advocates say that cutting trees to make pellets —partly within eight national forests — will achieve none of those goals. 

Related coverage: GSNR is taking steps to advance its proposed project that would improve the resiliency of California’s forestlands

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