Two environmental groups are trying to reverse a utilities commission ruling that would allow Duke Energy to harvest and burn trees as fuel for power plants.
The N.C. Utilities Commission said in October that Charlotte-based Duke can use whole trees, clarifying the types of wood that can be used under the state's 2007 renewable energy law. But the Southern Environmental Defense Center and the Environmental Defense Fund have filed an appeal with the N.C. Court of Appeals seeking to block the plan.
If the fuel were limited to "wood waste" referred to in the law, the utility said it would not have sufficient biomass fuel for power plants. N.C. utilities are required to produce 12.5 percent of their energy from renewable sources. Duke plans to use wood and coal at two power plants.
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