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alaska
Featured Article filed under The Public Good | Written by David Morris | No Comments | Updated on Dec 4, 2014

Alaska’s Enlightened Approach to Drugs and Privacy

The content that follows was originally published on the Institute for Local Self-Reliance website at http://ilsr.org/alaskas-enlightened-approach-drugs-privacy/

Politicians left and right often use pet phrases to justify their positions:  states rights, individual liberty, personal responsibility.  Rarely are these consistently applied.  Even more rarely do politicians or political parties offer a coherent framework for deciding when a higher level of government should preempt a lower level of government or when individual liberty trumps… Continue reading

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Featured Article filed under Broadband | Written by Rebecca Toews | No Comments | Updated on Dec 2, 2014

Chris Mitchell Presents in Brussels on the State of Fiber in the U.S.

The content that follows was originally published on the Institute for Local Self-Reliance website at http://ilsr.org/state-broadband-united-states-mitchell-brussels-fiber/

Chris was recently invited to present in Brussels on the experience of U.S. cities and fiber optic investment. The event was organized by the Swedish Association of Local Authorities (SALAR) and Stokab (The City of Stockholm IT infrastructure company). Mitchell gave an overview of the situation in the US and described the difficulties of getting high-capacity broadband,… Continue reading

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Article, Resource filed under Energy, Energy Self-Reliant States | Written by John Farrell | No Comments | Updated on Dec 2, 2014

Lifting State Limits on Local Power

The content that follows was originally published on the Institute for Local Self-Reliance website at http://ilsr.org/state-limits-local-power/

In the first half of 2014, distributed local solar power constituted over 25% of new power plant capacity. This impressive growth continues several years where solar power has grown by leaps and bounds, producing power right where it’s needed and juicing up local economies. But many states have limited how much of their electricity can… Continue reading

Article filed under Energy | Written by Lizzi Whittlesey | No Comments | Updated on Nov 25, 2014

Democratic Energy Media Roundup – November 24, 2014

The content that follows was originally published on the Institute for Local Self-Reliance website at http://ilsr.org/democratic-energy-media-roundup-november-17-2014-2/

This week in democratic energy, media reports discussed the recent ruling for utilities in Wisconsin, the continued growth of solar in several states, and more. John Farrell, Director of ILSR’s Democratic Energy initiative, recently presented on a panel about the City of Minneapolis’ partnership with Xcel. His talk was covered on PVSolarReport. ILSR’s report on the… Continue reading

flatline - flickr ashley rose
Article, Resource filed under Energy, Energy Self-Reliant States | Written by John Farrell | 1 Comment | Updated on Nov 25, 2014

Is Per Capita Electricity Use Permanently Flat in the U.S.?

The content that follows was originally published on the Institute for Local Self-Reliance website at http://ilsr.org/capita-electricity-permanently-flat-u-s/

Here’s something to be thankful for: a more energy efficiency economy! While local renewable energy and energy efficiency are proving to be near-existential threats to electric utilities in the early 21st century, the trends aren’t the same. The rapid rise of renewable energy is but a decade old, but the trend toward falling electricity consumption… Continue reading

Minneapolis clean energy partnership signed
Article filed under Energy, Energy Self-Reliant States | Written by John Farrell | No Comments | Updated on Nov 21, 2014

A 2-Year City Workplan for Energy Democracy

The content that follows was originally published on the Institute for Local Self-Reliance website at http://ilsr.org/proposed-2-year-strategy-energy-democracy-minneapolis/

The first-in-the-nation city-utility partnership has been framed in Minneapolis, but can the city and its utilities really deliver substantive movement toward an equitable energy economy in the next two years? It all depends on the workplan, and the grassroots team at Minneapolis Energy Options has delivered. (Disclosure: I serve on the board of Community Power… Continue reading

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Featured Article filed under Stop Incineration | Written by Neil Seldman | No Comments | Updated on Nov 21, 2014

Maryland Counties Scrap Waste-to-Energy Project

The content that follows was originally published on the Institute for Local Self-Reliance website at http://ilsr.org/maryland-counties-scrap-waste-to-energy-project/

Organized citizens and small business owners in Carroll and Frederick Counties, MD just completed a 10-year battle to stop the implementation of a 1,500 ton per day mass burn garbage incinerator facility. The effort brought out the best in local activism: careful analysis of the contract and its financial implications, sophisticated use  of media, many… Continue reading

Photo: Walmart Dark Cloud
Article filed under Independent Business | Written by Walter Wuthmann | No Comments | Updated on Nov 21, 2014

Walmart is a Huge Consumer of Dirty Coal Energy

The content that follows was originally published on the Institute for Local Self-Reliance website at http://ilsr.org/walmart-huge-consumer-dirty-coal-energy/

Walmart has been strutting around decked out in solar panels lately. But look a little closer and this emperor’s outfit isn’t all that it appears to be. Only 3 percent of Walmart’s U.S. power is supplied by its renewable energy projects. Which begs the question: Where does the other 97 percent of Walmart’s power come from? Here at the Institute for Local Self-Reliance, we decided to take a look. And what we found is a big, filthy mountain of coal.
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Photo: Walmart store
Featured Article, Resource filed under Independent Business | Written by Stacy Mitchell | 1 Comment | Updated on Nov 20, 2014

New Report: Walmart’s Dirty Energy Secret

The content that follows was originally published on the Institute for Local Self-Reliance website at http://ilsr.org/walmarts-dirty-energy-secret/

Walmart talks a lot of talk about its renewable energy initiatives, but a new ILSR report finds that all that hype is just slick greenwashing hiding the company’s massive coal consumption. In this first-of-its-kind analysis, ILSR calculated that Walmart is one of the nation’s largest users of coal-fired electricity. Despite pledging nearly a decade ago to shift to 100 percent renewable energy, Walmart today derives only 3 percent of its U.S. electricity from its renewable energy projects — far less than many small businesses and competing chains. Several national environmental leaders — including Michael Brune of Sierra Club, Bill McKibben of 350.org, and Jeremy Hays of Green For All — joined ILSR in releasing the study and calling for change. Continue reading

Article filed under Energy | Written by Lizzi Whittlesey | No Comments | Updated on Nov 19, 2014

Democratic Energy Media Roundup – November 17, 2014

The content that follows was originally published on the Institute for Local Self-Reliance website at http://ilsr.org/democratic-energy-media-roundup-november-17-2014/

Various Sources, November 17, 2014 This week in democratic energy, media reports discussed the state of solar across the country, a new battery prototype for wind and solar power, and more. John Farrell, Director of ILSR’s Democratic Energy initiative, was quoted in the Midwest Energy News article, “In Minnesota, community solar market starting to take… Continue reading