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Local forests part of biomass energy debate

Social perception at heart of the issue

During last year’s Day of Caring, volunteers ferry tree limbs cut along Southbridge’s Heritage Trail into a truck for hauling away. Such material might become fuel for future biomass energy plants. (click for larger version)
March 07, 2012
SOUTHBRIDGE — Since the exodus of most of our farming to the easier-to-plow Midwest about a century ago, one thing New England has had lots of is forest.

In the last couple years, the public's growing concern about fossil fuels' cost and climate impact has prompted several firms to propose turning those forests into energy by building large biomass electricity and/or combined heat and power plants. Such plans are currently in limbo as the state retools its efficiency and other requirements, and some argue there's essentially not enough available wood to keep them going.

For more on this story, please see tomorrow's Southbridge Evening News.

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