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us power plant capacity additions 2014 thru Q3 ILSR
Featured Article, Resource filed under Energy, Energy Self-Reliant States | Written by John Farrell | No Comments | Updated on Dec 18, 2014

Distributed Solar a Substantial Portion of 2014 Power Plant Capacity

The content that follows was originally published on the Institute for Local Self-Reliance website at http://ilsr.org/distributed-solar-substantial-portion-2014-power-plant-capacity/

Renewable energy continues to grow substantially in the U.S. and in 2014 it remains a large portion of new power plant capacity – 30% or more through the first three quarters. Often overlooked, distributed solar on residential and commercial property is making up a substantial share of new electrical generating capacity.  The following chart illustrates… Continue reading

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Featured Article filed under The Public Good | Written by Rebecca Toews | No Comments | Updated on Dec 18, 2014

“The Secret Side of Global Trade” – David Morris at Riverside Church, 1995

The content that follows was originally published on the Institute for Local Self-Reliance website at http://ilsr.org/the-secret-side-global-trade-david-morris-riverside-church-1995/

David Morris speaks at Riverside church as part of the International Forum on Globalization. Originally recorded in 1995, his words still ring true today.   Continue reading

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Article, Resource filed under Energy, Energy Self-Reliant States | Written by Rebecca Toews | No Comments | Updated on Dec 12, 2014

“$364 billion up for grabs” – A Video preview of Energy Democracy

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

2014 marked the year that solar energy, energy storage and electric vehicles – hallmarks of a decentralized electricity grid – got big enough to threaten the electric utilities, exposing their 100-year-old business model as out-of-date. In nearly 20 states, utilities are fighting back, proposing new fees and rules to minimize the competition from customer generated… Continue reading

Featured Article, Resource filed under General | Written by ILSR Admin | No Comments | Updated on Dec 10, 2014

Building Community, Strengthening Economies: ILSR’s 2014 Annual Report

The content that follows was originally published on the Institute for Local Self-Reliance website at http://ilsr.org/annual-report-2014/

ILSR was founded 40 years ago out of a conviction that solving even our most complex problems begins with people exercising collective authority at the local level.  Since then, we have been at the forefront of helping communities take charge of their local resources and build an equitable, environmentally viable, and democratic future. This year,… Continue reading

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Featured Article, Resource filed under Energy, Energy Self-Reliant States | Written by Rebecca Toews | No Comments | Updated on Dec 9, 2014

New Report: Beyond Utility 2.0 to Energy Democracy

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

Exciting changes are on the horizon for our century-old utility structure as solar power, energy storage, and electric vehicles open new avenues for utility customers to produce their own power and control their energy use. Utilities are scrambling to remain relevant in this technological firestorm, and energy wonks are envisioning a new business model –… Continue reading

Map: States Where Amazon Collects Sales Tax
Featured Resource filed under Independent Business | Written by Stacy Mitchell | No Comments | Updated on Dec 6, 2014

States Where Amazon Collects Sales Tax (Map)

The content that follows was originally published on the Institute for Local Self-Reliance website at http://ilsr.org/rule/states-amazon-sales-tax-map/

Amazon currently collects sales tax in 23 states.  For more background and information on internet sales tax, including the legislative approaches taken by the states, as well as proposed Congressional legislation, see our Internet Sales Tax Fairness page. 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

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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

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

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Featured Article, Resource filed under Independent Business | Written by ILSR Admin | No Comments | Updated on Nov 14, 2014

Get the Facts on Shopping Local for the Holidays with this Infographic

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

Independent businesses are poised to draw more people this holiday season.  To illustrate the ways that local businesses are growing in popularity, delivering stronger economic returns, and expanding in numbers, the Advocates for Independent Business, a coalition of 14 groups coordinated by ILSR, put together this infographic. Continue reading

Web developers protested the FCC's proposed Net Neutrality regulations.
Featured Article, Resource filed under Broadband | Written by Rebecca Toews | No Comments | Updated on Nov 13, 2014

MPR’s “Daily Circuit” and KCRW’s “To the Point” invite Chris Mitchell for net neutrality conversation

The content that follows was originally published on the Institute for Local Self-Reliance website at http://ilsr.org/mprs-daily-circuit-kcrws-to-point-invite-chris-mitchell-net-neutrality-conversation/

“The FCC should be extremely wary of any arguments that claim paid prioritization or other discriminatory practices are necessary to increase investment in next-generation networks.” – ILSR, July 18, 2014 For months the FCC has considered comments from the public as it examines network neutrality. There have been more than 3 million submissions; a vast… Continue reading

Chart: Share of Census Tracks Served By Pharmacies
Resource filed under Independent Business | Written by Stacy Mitchell | No Comments | Updated on Oct 20, 2014

Charts: How North Dakota’s Pharmacy Ownership Law Benefits the State

The content that follows was originally published on the Institute for Local Self-Reliance website at http://ilsr.org/charts-north-dakotas-pharmacy-ownership-law-benefits-state/

  Thanks in large part to its Pharmacy Ownership Law, North Dakota outperforms neighboring states and the U.S. as whole on every key measure of pharmacy care.  For more details on the law and its impact, see our 2014 report, North Dakota’s Pharmacy Ownership Law: Ensuring Access, Competitive Prices, and Quality Care. Continue reading

Photo: Forman Drug
Article, Resource filed under Independent Business | Written by ILSR Admin | No Comments | Updated on Oct 20, 2014

Report: North Dakota’s Pharmacy Ownership Law Leads to Better Pharmacy Care

The content that follows was originally published on the Institute for Local Self-Reliance website at http://ilsr.org/report-pharmacy-ownership-law/

What a difference local ownership makes. Under a forward-thinking 1963 law, North Dakota does not allow chains to operate pharmacies. Instead of Walgreens and Walmart pharmacies, North Dakotans go to 171 independent and locally owned pharmacies across the state for their prescriptions. That may soon change though: Walmart is bankrolling — to the tune of $2.7 million — a campaign to pass a ballot measure on November 4th that would overturn the law. That’s more per person that Obama spent in the 2012 general election. Weighing into the debate, ILSR this week released a data-driven study that finds that North Dakotans receive significantly better pharmacy care by every measure, from some of the lowest drug prices in the nation to unparalleled access, particularly in rural areas. Continue reading

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Resource filed under Independent Business | Written by Stacy Mitchell | No Comments | Updated on Oct 17, 2014

Displacing Injustice, Embracing Community: Lessons from Local New Economy Organizing (Video)

The content that follows was originally published on the Institute for Local Self-Reliance website at http://ilsr.org/displacing-injustice-embracing-community-lessons-local-economy-organizing-video/

This panel, held on October 17, 2014, as part of New Economy Week, raises the question: “How can we support neighborhoods, cities, towns, and regions as the fertile ground for the kind of economy we need?” Continue reading

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Article, Resource filed under Broadband | Written by Rebecca Toews | No Comments | Updated on Oct 13, 2014

Correcting Community Fiber Fallacies: The Reality of Lafayette’s Gigabit Network

The content that follows was originally published on the Institute for Local Self-Reliance website at http://ilsr.org/fiber-fallacies-lusfiber/

In just the last year the Lafayette Utility System (LUS) gigabit network has attracted 1300 high-tech jobs. Chairman Wheeler praises the network for doing what many communities hope to do, but cannot because of state laws limiting municipal broadband networks. Critics are desperate to discredit the network, using false statements and misinformation. The Reason Foundation released a paper by… Continue reading