Ground Truth: Briefly

Jet Fuel From Wood

Writing for Greenwire, Marc Heller reports that Enviva, the world’s largest wood pellet producer, has inked a deal to turn forest products into aviation fuel. The deal will send up to 750,000 metric tons of “forest thinnings” to a new production facility to be built by Alder Fuels.

The two companies claim their process could eventually supply 37 million gallons of jet fuel per year. Supporters of intensive forest management contend the new use for low-value biomass will make forest thinning more cost-effective. They also cite studies suggesting biomass-based aviation fuel will significantly reduce carbon dioxide emissions.

Laura Haight, U.S. policy director at the Partnership for Policy Integrity, disagrees. “Logging and burning forests for fuel … emits more carbon pollution than fossil fuels per unit energy,” she said. “It will be devastating to our forests, which are already overexploited and degraded.”

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