Dear Vice President Timmermans,
I am writing to express my concerns about the devastation to forests and communities in the Southern United States caused by the rapidly increasing demand for wood pellets that are being burned in European power stations. I ask you to take action now to value forests for the many critical ecological services that they provide and develop policies that incentivize their protection instead of their destruction. As you are well aware, the increased demand for wood as a fuel source in the EU and particularly in the United Kingdom is driving the expansion of wood pellet manufacturing and export in the Southern US. The production of these wood pellets from our forests negatively affects our health, environment, climate and quality of life. This is an SOS message - Save Our Southern Forests! The large-scale burning of wood pellets is not a solution to climate change or a feasible alternative to coal. Scientific research is very clear in showing that burning biomass manufactured from forest products will increase smokestack carbon emissions when compared to coal. We need to be reducing our global carbon emissions and increasing our carbon sinks now, not in decades. Utility scale biomass is a false solution and a bad investment. New policies that prioritize investments in wind, solar, tidal, energy efficiency and other renewable and low carbon sources are not controversial and supported by science. Additionally, our living forests provide many benefits. Standing forests are our best defense against climate change through gathering and storing carbon. Forests provide our communities with clean air to breathe, water to drink and natural protection from flooding and hurricanes. They are home to countless species of plants and animals found nowhere else on earth. Cutting them down as a solution to the climate crisis is bad policy and makes no sense. We can no longer invest in forest destruction; we need to focus on forest conservation. Alternatives do exist, including true renewables like solar, wind and geothermal energy that are significantly less destructive sources of energy. Energy efficiency improvements can significantly reduce base-load power demands. Rather than investing in short-term and short-sighted solutions, we should be increasing these types of energy investments. Hear our SOS message. Consider these alternatives and stop incentivizing the use of trees for fuel in your renewable energy policies. The future of our forests, climate and health depends on it.
Sincerely,[Your Name] [Your Address]]] [City, State ZIP]
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