I'm pretty sure that the problem was with the episode: the writer is going too far to make an environmental conflict meaningful in a one-shot episode of a sci-fi series. As much as cities and states make stupid planning decisions, trading immediate benefit for short term benefit, the structure of the crisis in the episode is implausible. The numbers don't add up: they are going too far and too much to an extreme for something that could be resolved with some temporary migration. It might be cheaper to replicate firewood. Indeed, these sorts of decisions go forward in the real world because the environmental consequences won't be immediately visible.