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Environmental protestors parody Talking Head’s song to criticise Enviva and Drax at US pellet conference

Environmental protestors have parodied a song made by US rock band Talking heads to criticise Enviva and Drax at the North Carolina-based American Pellet Fuels Institute Conference.

According to media reports in Mountain Express, a spontaneous Flashmob broke into song and dance playfully criticising key conference goers Enviva and Drax for “their role in the logging and damage to precious forests across the Southern US”.

The group sang revised lyrics to the Talking Head’s “Burning Down the House,” which they titled “Burning Down the Forest.”

According to the media outlet, the goal of the event was to highlight how some of the largest companies at the conference have been actively clearcutting forests across the Southern US to turn them into wood pellets and ship them to Europe to be burned for electricity at the expense of our forests, climate, and rural communities.

“Our forests provide clean air, fresh drinking water, a place for spiritual renewal, and habitat for wildlife,” said Rita Frost, one of the flashmobbers who took part in the event. “I hope that industrial wood pellet companies like Enviva and Drax hear our message loud and clear – our forests are not fuel!”

In response to criticism, Enviva vice president of communications Kent Jenkins told Bioenergy Insight: “US Secretary of Agriculture Tom Vilsack recently wrote that ‘the US wood pellet industry increases our forested area, reduces greenhouse gas emissions and improves U.S. forest management practices.’ We agree. Studies have found that using wood pellets instead of coal to generate electric power reduces lifetime carbon emissions by about 80%.

“And America has more forestland today than before World War II. Secretary Vilsack, whose job is protecting US forests, has repeatedly said that wood pellet production actually promotes forest growth. It’s unfortunate that some critics choose to ignore these facts.”

A Drax spokeswoman told Bioenergy Insight that it did not wish to comment on the story.