Although not as comprehensive as a feed-in tariff, Washington State provides incentive payments for solar PV systems made in-state and now, for systems that are community owned on local government property. Continue reading
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In the last 12 months a new and very promising strategy for local energy self-reliance has emerged, and it spreading like a prairie fire: direct public financing of energy efficiency and renewable energy investments by private businesses and households. ILSR has been closely tracking these developments and has brought together information about individual programs and the laws and ordinances that have enabled them (view our Map and see the various Municipal Energy Financing rules).
The Department of Justice has begun an initial review to determine whether large U.S. telecom companies such as AT&T Inc. and Verizon Communications Inc. have abused the market power they’ve amassed in recent years, according to people familiar with the matter.
HSBC, one of the biggest banks on the planet, has taken to calling itself "the world’s local bank." Starbucks is un-branding at least three of its Seattle outlets, the first of which just reopened as "15th Avenue Coffee and Tea." The International Council of Shopping Centers is pouring millions of dollars into television ads urging people to "Shop Local" — at their nearest mall.
Hoping to capitalize on growing public enthusiasm for all things local, some of the world’s biggest corporations are brashly laying claim to the word “local.” Continue reading
A strong and smart grid can be developed with distributed renewable energy, without need for new high-voltage transmission. This 6-minute video explains how. Continue reading
Consider: Which of these sectors is the one really doing a number on society? At the birth of the American republic, the word “private” had a sinister connotation. Derived from the Latin privare, meaning to reduce or tear apart, it described behavior often contrary to the public interest. In the late 18th century, a pirate was called a privateer. Today “private” has become a positive, even boosterish word, while “public” carries a shady undertone. “Private sector” has become synonymous with efficiency and innovation, while “public sector” connotes bloat and unresponsiveness, even corruption. Continue reading
On May 4th, 2009, Governors from 10 East Coast states sent a sign-on letter opposing the current House & Senate bills to expedite transmission line planning and siting. The states that signed onwere Virginia, Massachusetts, Rhode Island, Delaware, Maine, Maryland, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New York, and Vermont. Theletter argued against a greater federal subsidy for long-distance transmission, stating that the focus should be on more local renewable generation, such as off-shore wind along the East Coast.
Here at the New Rules Project, we support local businesses over businesses like Amazon. We have focused on the threat they pose to local businesses, but there is another threat from large Internet-based corporations and Cory Doctorow outlines it in this report from Internet Evolution.
That danger is that a couple of corporate giants will end up with a buyer’s market for creative works, control over the dominant distribution channel, and the ability to dictate the terms on which creative works are made, distributed, appreciated, bought, and sold.
San Francisco recently accepted more responsibility for its waste by increasing recycling requirements.
The Board of Supervisors passed new recycling and mandatory composting rules on Tuesday in a 9-to-2 vote. The city already diverts 72 percent of the 2.1 million tons of waste its residents produce each year away from landfills and into recycling and composting programs. The new ordinance will help the city toward its goal of sending zero waste to landfills by 2020, said Jared Blumenfeld, director of the city’s Department of the Environment.
Borders Books is on "death watch," according to one industry observer. Virgin shut down its last U.S. record store this month. Office Depot and Staples are struggling. Circuit City is gone. Best Buy has launched a desperate ad campaign.
While the decline of independent businesses has leveled off, the rest of the retail sector is undergoing dramatic consolidation as a small number of massive companies become ever more dominant. This is an ominous trend for manufacturers and consumers, and it exposes serious flaws in U.S. antitrust policy. Continue reading