The Ethanol Enigma By David Morris April 25, 2002 Originally Published on Alternet Ethanol is the homegrown, renewable fuel both conservatives and liberals love to hate. They might change their minds if they better understood its remarkable history. Before the Civil War ethanol, derived from corn or molasses, was one of the nation’s best-selling chemicals…. Continue reading
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About David Morris
David Morris is co-founder of the Institute for Local Self-Reliance and directs its initiative on The Public Good. He is the author of New City States and four other non-fiction books. His essays on public policy are regularly published by On the Commons, Alternet, Common Dreams and the Huffington Post. More
Fashioning Minnesota Energy Policy: The Legislature’s Role By David Morris February 7, 2002 Testimony before the Minnesota Senate Telecommunications, Energy and Utilities Committee On S.F. 2672 – Minnesota Economic, Environmental and Energy Security Act of 2002 My name is David Morris. I am Vice President of the Minneapolis-based Institute for Local Self-Reliance. I have worked… Continue reading
This October 2001 paper by David Morris looks at how plant matter must be an important element in a sustainable economy because it is the only renewable resource from which we can fashion physical products. In the next few months and years we will be making decisions at the local, state, national and international level that will channel tens, perhaps hundreds of billions of dollars of money into certain areas and markets. We are changing the rules.
Themedia simply report on California’s shortfall of thousands of megawatts and limit the discussion to President Bush’s energy plan and Gov. Gray Davis’ plea for wholesale rate caps. They’re missing the real story. California may need thousands of megawatts of generating capacity in the long run, but the rolling blackouts hit only a few blocks at a time. This summers’ electricity crisis, therefore, isn’t going to be dealt with in Washington or even Sacramento, but at the local and neighborhood level.
Wedo need new energy supplies, although aggressive efficiency improvements could reduce the amount needed by half or more. What we don’t need is the kind of energy future championed by the Bush Administration. For theirs is a top down, centralized, undemocratic vision, one in which we would become even more dependent on remote energy sources and remote energy decision makers. Continue reading
Interview of David Morris on KPFK Radio on Energy Policy [12 minutes] Continue reading
The California energy crisis is not simply about a lack of electricity it is about who owns the production and distribution of that electricity. As state after state agrees to deregulation, the utility industry is approaching a concentration not seen since the Power Trust of the 1930s. Seeing the Light urges us to change the rules now and create a future that includes affordable, locally-owned electricity. The book chronicles hopeful new developments and reminds us that the best way to prevent another crisis is to build a better system. Continue reading
Inthe beginning, before there were giant utilities and high voltage transmission lines, and state and federal regulatory agencies and rolling blackouts, companies didn’t sell electricity. They sold power plants. By 1883, the Edison Electric Illuminating Company (later General Electric) had installed 334 power plants inside cotton mills, grain elevators, manufacturing plants, newspapers and theaters.
Commentary: Conservative Rage vs. Liberal Guilt By David Morris January 21, 2001 Regarding John Ashcroft, Sen. Russell Feingold, D-Wis., maintains, “A Republican president ought to be able to appoint people of strong conservative ideology.” Can you imagine Sens. Jesse Helms or Trent Lott uttering those words about a Democratic president and his strongly ideological liberal… Continue reading
Sometimes doing the right thing is almost too simple. Requiring publicly funded construction projects to produce no net increase in greenhouse gas emissions is one example: it’s hard to find the down side. By David Morris Continue reading