A coalition of U.S. and foreign automobile manufacturers and car dealerships in California joined together to file a lawsuit against California’s innovative rule to reduce greenhouse gas emissions from vehicles in that state. In a tug of war between federal and state authority, the stage is set for a public debate on how far a state can go in directing its own energy future.
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Lawmakers in New Jersey have proposed legislation that would require communities to weigh the regional economic impact of proposed big-box stores before granting approval.
As drafted, the law would apply to stores over 130,000 square feet that sell at least 25,000 items with a minimum of ten percent of their revenue in nontaxable groceries. The measure would therefore cover Wal-Mart, Target, and Kmart supercenters, but would not affect big-box stores that do not sell groceries, such as Home Depot and Staples.
Everyone knows that President Bush was reelected on November 2nd but did you know that voters in three municipalities voted to take control of their electric systems? In Rolfe, Iowa (pop. 675), the vote was 182-19, in Wellman, Iowa (pop. 1,393) the vote was 470-159, and in Auburn, New York (pop. 28,574) the vote was 4,726-987 to allow their cities to form municipally-owned power companies. The two Iowa cities already control their natural gas utilities so the move toward electricity should be a natural extension. Continue reading
While Democratic Energy is primarily tracking energy innovations in the public sector, we thought that you’d be interested in this energy policy development from the private sector announced last week by the Hyperion Solutions Corporation.
Negotiations that could lead to the first union contract at any of Wal-Mart’s 5,000 stores worldwide began last week in Jonquiere, a town about 250 miles north of Quebec City in Canada. Continue reading
In September 2004, The New York State Public Service Commission (PSC) adopted a renewable energy portfolio standard that requires 25 percent of the state’s electricity to be supplied from renewable energy sources by 2013. The NY RPS will require about 3,700 megawatts (MW) of new renewable fueled electricity projects to come on-line between 2006 and 2013.
Ethanol production makes sense, when you consider the facts by David Morris Originally published in the St. Paul Pioneer Press, November 28, 2004 A recent column by Craig Westover claimed it takes more energy to make ethanol than is contained in ethanol (“Let’s have both sides of ethanol debate,” Nov. 17). The only evidence he… Continue reading
Who gets fruits of public R&D? by David Morris Originally published in the Minneapolis Star Tribune, November 28, 2004 In 1980, Congress allowed universities to own federally supported research and grant exclusive licenses to businesses to commercialize that research. Since then, the landscape of America’s research universities has changed dramatically. Before 1980, U.S. universities applied… Continue reading
Independent businesses in two dozen cites joined forces to urge residents to "unchain" themselves on Saturday, November 20, by patronizing only locally owned stores and restaurants that day.
The event, dubbed America Unchained, was organized by the American Independent Business Alliance (AMIBA). The goal, according to AMIBA’s director Jennifer Rockne, was to broaden awareness of the local economic benefit of choosing to shop at locally owned businesses instead of chains.
Voters in Hudson, Ohio—a community of 23,000 people thirty miles southeast of Cleveland—overwhelmingly rejected a ballot initiative that would have opened the way for big-box stores and allowed developers to skirt the town’s development review process.
"We are ecstatic," said Liz Murphy, owner of the Learned Owl bookstore and member of Smart Growth Hudson, a citizens group that formed to defeat the initiative.