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More power poles, more problems

Electric vehicles and renewable energy sources are in their boom era — and that means the need for electricity is higher than ever before. The construction of an expanded energy grid to meet that demand is going to require a lot of raw minerals, metals… and a surprising commodity: lumber. This week, we take a trip to the forests of the Southern Pine Belt where demand for big trees far outstrips the supply and find out what's being done to prevent a pole-ocalypse.


  • Dr. Robert Bardon, Associate Dean for Extension and Professor at the College of Natural Resources at NC State University 
  • Ryan Dezember, Commodities Reporter at The Wall Street Journal


Charlie Shelton-Ormond is a podcast producer for WUNC.
Anisa Khalifa is an award-winning podcast producer and host at WUNC. She grew up in a public radio household, and fell in love with podcasts shortly before her friends convinced her to start one with them about Korean dramas. Since joining WUNC in 2021, Anisa has produced Me and My Muslim Friends, CREEP, Tested and Dating While Gray, and is the host of WUNC's weekly podcast The Broadside.
Jerad Walker is WUNC’s editor of narrative audio and podcasts. He joined the station in 2022 after nearly a decade at Oregon Public Broadcasting.
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