A new proposal to prop up the state’s biomass power plants is modeled after nuclear subsidies in Illinois and New York.
The week’s moves are the first faint signs that North Carolina Gov. Roy Cooper and his administration are reacting to pressure from critics who say massive wood pellet production is exacerbating the climate crisis.
Critics hope an analysis of the pellet industry’s effects carbon sinks and emissions could influence the biomass debate.
A ratepayer group has asked federal regulators to invalidate the 2018 law, which forces utilities to buy biomass power.
While forestry industry advocates push to overturn New Hampshire Gov. Chris Sununu’s veto of a bill to provide price supports for biomass plants, some experts say more widespread use of pellet stoves could help find new uses for low-grade wood products.