The wood pellet industry in the United States South: an exploratory regional comparison of resident environmental, social, and economic perceptions

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Mason T. LeBlanc
Richard P. Vlosky


pellets, resident perceptions, United States, regional comparisons, Gulf South, Mid-Atlantic


This article is a companion to another article published in the same issue of the Journal of Forest Business Research.[1] As such, to preclude duplication, much of the background and literature review are not repeated in this article. While that article focuses on comparing rural and urban resident perceptions of the wood pellet industry, in this piece, we examine and compare residents by major pellet production sub-region in the US South across three dimensions: environmental, social, and economic attributes. The Southern region overall is the world's largest producer and exporter of wood pellets. The sub-regions are the Gulf Coast (Louisiana and Mississippi) and the Atlantic Coast (South Carolina, North Carolina, and Virginia). Two rounds of a web-based survey were sent to 7,500 residents in the two pellet-producing sub-regions within the US South. Within these regions, surveys were sent to randomly selected residents by zip code, 18 years or older. Overall, Gulf Coast respondents were more accepting of the pellet industry than Atlantic Coast respondents across the three attributes.

[1] LeBlanc MT, Vlosky RP. 2023. What do people think about the environmental, social, and economic impacts of the wood pellet industry? An exploratory study of residents living near pellet plants vs. urban residents in States with pellet manufacturers. J.For.Bus.Res. 2(1): 20-37.

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