A legislative proposal in Connecticut would cut their existing renewable portfolio standard nearly in half but prioritize in-state generation. Backers of the rollback say that renewable energy is mainly bought from outside the state to meet the current standard. The change in the RPS boosts financing tools for in-state power as part of the plan. One interesting quote, "we want projects, not simply percentages."
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Hanging in the balance of the financial reform debate is an issue that has received far less attention than the Consumer Financial Protection Agency, but is at least as important and probably more so: whether Congress will restore the authority of states to oversee national banks. Continue reading
Not one to let a good crisis go to waste, Bank of America managed, in the dark days of 2008, to parlay its own insolvency and near collapse into attaining something it had long dreamed of: federal approval to bypass a national law that says that no bank may acquire another bank if it would end up holding more than 10 percent of the country’s deposits.
Now, at long last, a new Senate proposal calls for reinstating strict size caps. It would mean disassembling at least five big banks.
Those who wonder whether public anger at big banks and the Move Your Money sentiment sweeping the country is substantial enough to impact these giants need only look at the banks’ own marketing over the last few weeks to see the proof. Continue reading
A coalition of utilities have announced their opposition to a series of 765-kilovolt transmission lines, more than double the capacity of the current 345-kilovolt lines. The lines are proposed as a way to send electricity from the Dakotas, Iowa and Minnesota to Chicago and points east. "If Iowa wants to build a transmission line for their energy, we have no objection. But Iowa or the Midwest should pay for it," said Ian Bowles, secretary of energy and environmental affairs in Massachusetts. New England states want to produce their own wind energy from offshore farms. Continue reading
What journalists and even environmentalists so often fail to do in reporting on Walmart’s sustainability announcements is to provide context. Continue reading
Five Midwest states (Missouri, Illinois, Indiana, Michigan and Ohio) could get nearly all their electricity from wind, according to updated maps from the Institute for Local Self-Reliance (ILSR). New data from Wind Powering America mean that 32 states could get all of their electricity from in-state resources, even more than initially revealed in ILSR’s ground-breaking report last fall, Energy Self-Reliant States. The revised estimates come from the National Renewable Energy Lab’s Wind Powering America project and are the first nationwide update since the early 1990s. Continue reading
The Obama administration’s energy policy jumps the shark: why nuclear isa bad deal and carbon-captured coal is anything but clean. Senior Research John Farrell discusses this and the smarter strategy of a decentralized renewable energy future with KBOO host Bill Resnick.
The rules we make now will decide our energy future. Listen to the interview here.
The biggest banks impose much higher fees on their customers than small financial institutions do. This is exactly the opposite of what was promised in 1994 and again in 1999, when Congress dismantled laws that had long restricted the size and scope of banks, ushering in a wave of mergers that left the industry dominated by a few financial giants. Continue reading
Although small and mid-sized banks control only 22 percent of all bank assets, they account for 54 percent of small business lending. Big banks, meanwhile, allocate relatively little of their resources to small businesses. The largest 20 banks, which now command 57 percent of all bank assets, devote only 18 percent of their commercial loan portfolios to small business. Continue reading