Since enactment of the nation’s first state mandate for nearly all diesel fuel sold in the state to contain a small percentage of biodiesel, there was always some uncertainty whether or not production facilities would be built to meet the goal in the law. Language in the law would have allowed the mandate to never take effect unless the in-state production reached 8,000,000 gallons per year. With the opening of one plant in December and two more under construction, the mandate is expected to come into force at the end of June 2005.
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Malpractice suits aren’t what needs fixing here by David Morris Originally published in Minneapolis Star Tribune, January 10, 2005 One of the major cost drivers in the delivery of health care are these junk and frivolous lawsuits, President Bush has told the American people. Here are seven facts that prove him wrong. Insurance rates do… Continue reading
One of the world’s fastest growing energy technologies is wind power. Landowners on windy sites face a choice – to lease their land to wind developers or to own the turbines themselves. Leasing land provides a landowner with a relatively risk free venture with a steady stream of income. Owning a wind energy project involves more risk but offers landowners significantly more potential revenue. Continue reading
After two years of consideration—including a review by a city council-appointed task force, numerous public hearings, and a voter referendum—the town of Homer, Alaska, has adopted an ordinance that limits stores to no more than 45,000 square feet and requires retail development projects larger than 15,000 square feet to undergo a community impact review. Homer has a population of about 5,000 and is located on the Kenai Peninsula. Continue reading
Split Rock Energy, a wholesale power marketer and trader and wholly owned subsidiary of Great River Energy, has issued and will issue two request for proposals (RFP) for two very different types of power resources: baseload and distributed generation.
In a ruling that could have broad implications, a California appeals court this week nullified zoning approvals given to two big-box shopping centers by the city of Bakersfield. The court held that the environmental impact reports (EIRs) prepared for the projects were insufficient and did not adequately address the potential for urban decay and associated ecological effects that could be caused by extensive new retail development. The ruling orders the city to complete new impact studies and public hearings, and reconsider the projects. Continue reading
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.
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. Continue reading
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.