The Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) is proposing to amend its regulations to require public utilities to include specific technical provisions for wind energy in their open access transmission tariffs (OATTs). The new rules will allow wind power projects to be integrated more firmly into the existing transmission system.
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By now, many community leaders recognize that when chain retail sprawls unchecked, main street loses, not just jobs and businesses, but the very essence of what makes the district unique. Small, independent businesses CAN prosper, however, when planners use the right tools to manage economic growth in the region. This month, we report on some of the most promising new regulatory strategies available. Continue reading
Small-scale and micro hydropower technologies are helping bring distributed electricity generation to remote areas around the world. The impacts on the environment are negligible and the economics are competitive. The worldwide market potential is fairly small in terms of overall megawatts (MWs) but for those locations without power today, a new micro-hydro system can make a tremendous difference in people’s lives.
Already a renewable fuels policy leader, the state of Minnesota is considering adopting a stricter mandate for biofuels content in the state’s gasoline supplies. Governor Pawlenty announced his support for a 20 percent ethanol content and a handful of bills have been introduced at the legislature to implement the goal.
The Danish Confederation of Trade Unions (Landsorganisationen or LO) has announced that all of its pension funds will sell their shares of Wal-Mart stock in opposition to the "Walmartization" of wages and working conditions worldwide.
"As the company has such a bad reputation, and a directly anti-human corporate philosophy, we see no other alternative than to disqualify Wal-Mart as an object for ethically responsible investment," said Svend S?rensen, president of one LO-affiliated pension fund.
In late January, the Select Board in Bennington, Vermont, voted unanimously to ban stores over 75,000 square feet and to require retail development projects larger than 30,000 square feet to pass a community impact review.
Town officials said the measure was needed to ensure adequate review of the economic and community impacts of large-scale retail development, protect the viability of Bennington’s existing commercial areas, and maintain competition by preventing a single retailer from dominating the local market.
The California Public Utilities Commission (CPUC) is scheduled to vote tomorrow (1/27/05) on who will control about $400 million in state energy efficiency funds [see CPUC proceeding R0108028] Community aggregation advocate groups including Local Power and Women’s Energy Matters are demanding that the CPUC let community choice aggregators (CCAs) control and administer their own efficiency programs rather than give all the money and co Continue reading
Hundreds of communities around the country have committed financial resources to reduce greenhouse gas emissions through energy efficiency improvements and through purchases of renewable fueled electricity from their local utilities. A new trend appears to be emerging as part of these efforts – some communities are investigating direct ownership of energy projects and recent actions in Portland, Oregon illustrate this nicely.
Nearly one-quarter of Wal-Mart’s 37,000 workers in Tennessee rely on Medicaid, according to state officials who released the figures at the request of the Chattanooga Times Free Press.
The data show that Wal-Mart has more employees enrolled in TennCare, the state’s Medicaid program, than any other company.
Other states have also found that Wal-Mart’s labor practices are placing a heavy burden on public assistance programs.
The California Energy Commission (CEC) began an investigation in April 2004 via a diverse working group to explore a variety of issues associated with the deployment of distributed generation (DG) including interconnection rules – formally referred to as Rule 21. Implementation of California’s standardized interconnection rules issued in 2000 have been an important priority for California because it eliminated a significant barrier to the safe and cost-effective deployment of DG in the State.