There’s a Booming Business in America’s Forests. Some Aren’t Happy About It

New York TimesThere’s a Booming Business in America’s Forests. Some Aren’t Happy About It. The fuel pellet industry is thriving. Supporters see it as a climate-friendly source of rural jobs. For others, it’s a polluter and destroyer of nature.

In 2013, Kathy Claiborne got a noisy new neighbor. That’s when a huge factory that dries and presses wood into roughly cigarette-filter-sized pellets roared to life near her tidy home in one of the state’s poorest counties. On a recent afternoon in her front yard, near the end of a cul-de-sac, the mill rumbled like an uncomfortably close jet engine.

“I can’t even recall the last time I had a good night’s sleep,” said Ms. Claiborne, who in 2009 moved to the neighborhood, which is majority African-American. She wears a mask outdoors, she said, because dust from the plant can make it hard to breathe.

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