COM­MITS $5 MIL­LION TO TURN DEAD TREES TO FUEL:

Manteca Bulletin - - Local / State -

SACRA­MENTO (AP) — A plan to turn some of Cal­i­for­nia’s 100 mil­lion dead trees into fuel has got­ten a boost from the state.

The state En­ergy Com­mis­sion ap­proved a $5 mil­lion grant Wed­nes­day to help fund a biomass op­er­a­tion in Cal­i­for­nia’s Shasta County.

Cal­i­for­nia forests have lost tens of mil­lions of trees this decade, partly be­cause of drought. Au­thor­i­ties say the stands of dead trees heighten the threat from wild­fires, although some en­vi­ron­men­tal groups dis­pute that.

The Shasta County plant would be one of the state’s first to turn dead trees into com­bustible gas. Some con­ser­va­tion groups op­pose biomass plants on the grounds that they can pol­lute the air and can in­crease the re­lease of cli­mate-chang­ing green­house gases.

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