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Map: Walmart Square Footage per person in 2014.
Featured Article, Resource filed under Independent Business | Written by Stacy Mitchell | No Comments | Updated on Mar 23, 2015

New Maps Show Alarming Pace of Walmart’s Continued Growth

The content that follows was originally published on the Institute for Local Self-Reliance website at http://ilsr.org/alarming-pace-walmarts-continued-growth/

Walmart continues to expand, and rapidly. The company is now embarking on its third historic wave of store construction, with plans to build 440 to 460 “Neighborhood Market” stores over a two year period, presumably with many hundreds more to follow. There is a critical debate to be had right now about whether a company that already captures one-quarter of U.S. grocery sales should be allowed to grow to control one-third, or even half, of our food supply. Continue reading

on air wnhn
Featured Article, Resource filed under Energy, Energy Self-Reliant States | Written by John Farrell | No Comments | Updated on Mar 16, 2015

Can an Old Utility (dog) Learn New Tricks?

The content that follows was originally published on the Institute for Local Self-Reliance website at http://ilsr.org/utility-dog-learn-tricks/

Arnie Arnesen interviewed ILSR’s Director of Democratic Energy John Farrell on WNHN’s The Attitude last week, seeking an answer to this question: can we expect electric utilities to embrace the energy sources of the future, like solar? Electric Utilities Play by the (Old) Rules Arnie and John discussed the hesitance of utilities to embrace innovation… Continue reading

us power plant capacity additions 2003-2014 ILSR
Article, Resource filed under Energy, Energy Self-Reliant States | Written by John Farrell | No Comments | Updated on Mar 10, 2015

Small-Scale Solar Contributes 13% of New Power Plant Capacity in 2014

The content that follows was originally published on the Institute for Local Self-Reliance website at http://ilsr.org/small-scale-solar-contributes-13-power-plants-2014/

The growth of solar has continued at a furious pace, with a new record of 6.2 gigawatts installed in the United States in 2014. But the bigger tale may be the persistent growth of small-scale solar, on residential and non-residential rooftops (and property).  These projects, a megawatt or smaller, contributed 13% of new power plant… Continue reading

reuserecycling
Article filed under Zero Waste & Economic Development | Written by Neil Seldman | No Comments | Updated on Mar 2, 2015

Reuse Based Enterprises

The content that follows was originally published on the Institute for Local Self-Reliance website at http://ilsr.org/reuse-based-enterprises/

Every city, county, and state must think about waste. For most it is a headache, but for a growing number of forward-thinking locales it is a boon for economic development. If your community is interested in green jobs, the discard stream is a logical place to start. When handled properly, the items in the discard… Continue reading

jff presenting in tucson cropped
Article, Resource filed under Energy, Energy Self-Reliant States | Written by John Farrell | No Comments | Updated on Feb 20, 2015

Could Solar Shine in a Tucson City-Utility Partnership?

The content that follows was originally published on the Institute for Local Self-Reliance website at http://ilsr.org/solar-shine-tucson-city-utility-partnership/

A city in the sunny southwest, Tucson is wondering how it can maximize its use of cost-effective, economy-boosting solar power. Is a partnership with the electric utility, as seen in Minneapolis, the answer? ILSR’s Director of Democratic Energy gave this presentation to several audiences on a recent (delightful) visit to Tucson, Arizona, to explore the… Continue reading

early-lessons-from-longmont-community-broadband-bits-podcast-106
Featured Article, Resource filed under Broadband | Written by Rebecca Toews | No Comments | Updated on Feb 18, 2015

Answering Questions About Title II and Munis – Community Broadband Bits Episode 138

The content that follows was originally published on the Institute for Local Self-Reliance website at http://ilsr.org/answering-questions-title-ii-munis-community-broadband-bits-episode-138/

As we near the FCC open meeting at the end of next week, when it will decide on both the Chattanooga and Wilson petitions regarding their wish to expand as well as a proposal to reclassify Internet access a Title II service in order to ensure it can maintain the same open Internet we have… Continue reading

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Article, ILSR Press Room, Resource filed under Independent Business | Written by Olivia LaVecchia | No Comments | Updated on Feb 11, 2015

Buoyed by Public Support, Independent Businesses Report Strong Sales Growth, National Survey Finds

The content that follows was originally published on the Institute for Local Self-Reliance website at http://ilsr.org/2015-independent-business-survey-independent-businesses-report-strong-sales-growth/

Independent businesses saw strong sales growth in 2014 as more consumers embraced the “buy local” movement and ditched big companies in favor of supporting local retailers and small-scale producers, according to a large national survey released today. Continue reading

Community Broadband Networks Press Packet cover page
ILSR Press Room, Resource filed under Broadband | Written by Rebecca Toews | No Comments | Updated on Feb 10, 2015

Community Broadband Networks Press Packet

The content that follows was originally published on the Institute for Local Self-Reliance website at http://ilsr.org/community-networks-press-packet/

At MuniNetworks.org, we provide resources that support local authority for broadband networks that are directly accountable to the communities they serve. As more community leaders realize the economic benefits of faster, more reliable Internet services, they are pursuing local control of connectivity through public ownership, cooperative models, and other nonprofit approaches. The vast majority of… Continue reading

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Article, Resource filed under Broadband | Written by Lisa Gonzalez | No Comments | Updated on Feb 9, 2015

Community Broadband Networks Map Fact Sheet 2015

The content that follows was originally published on the Institute for Local Self-Reliance website at http://ilsr.org/community-broadband-map-fact-sheet/

As of January 2015, more communities than ever before have realized the value of publicly owned broadband infrastructure. Many communities that choose to invest in publicly owned infrastructure do so because their needs are not met by large corporate providers. While some invest to bring reliable connectivity to local residents, others have no choice; businesses increasingly need… Continue reading

computer-screen 5 pillars
Article, Resource filed under Energy, Energy Self-Reliant States | Written by John Farrell | No Comments | Updated on Feb 6, 2015

Unveiling the Five Pillars of Energy Democracy

The content that follows was originally published on the Institute for Local Self-Reliance website at http://ilsr.org/unveiling-pillars-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––Utility 2.0––that… Continue reading

rick evans and john farrell debate value of solar MNSEIA conference Nov 2014
Article, Resource filed under Energy, Energy Self-Reliant States | Written by John Farrell | No Comments | Updated on Jan 30, 2015

Utility and Advocate Debate Value of Solar

The content that follows was originally published on the Institute for Local Self-Reliance website at http://ilsr.org/utility-advocate-debate-solar/

At a Minnesota Solar Energy Industries Association conference in November 2014, ILSR’s Director of Democratic Energy John Farrell tilted with Xcel Energy’s Rick Evans about the state’s dormant value of solar policy and whether it was likely to be adopted in the near future. Watch the 68-minute video to see the two address a variety… Continue reading

santa fe sunset - flickr Drriss & Marrionn
Article, Resource filed under Energy, Energy Self-Reliant States | Written by John Farrell | No Comments | Updated on Jan 23, 2015

How to Maximize Municipal Energy Options for Santa Fe (Public Radio Broadcast)

The content that follows was originally published on the Institute for Local Self-Reliance website at http://ilsr.org/talking-municipal-energy-options-santa-fe-public-radio/

Santa Fe, NM, is battling with its electric utility, PNM, over the utility’s continued heavy reliance on large-scale fossil fuel power plants in a state with some of the best sun and wind resources in the country. Director of Democratic Energy John Farrell joined Santa Fe City Councilor Patti Bushee to discuss options for Santa… Continue reading

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Featured Article, ILSR Press Room filed under Broadband | Written by Lisa Gonzalez | No Comments | Updated on Jan 15, 2015

National Press Follows President Obama to Cedar Falls, Iowa

The content that follows was originally published on the Institute for Local Self-Reliance website at http://ilsr.org/national-press-president-obama-cedar-falls-iowa/

On January 14th, President Obama visited Cedar Falls, Iowa, to share his strategy to expand high-speed connectivity to more Americans, encourage competition, and galvanize economic development. Obama’s plan centers around community networks and he announced that the next step will be eliminating barriers in 19 states that usurp local authority to invest in publicly owned… Continue reading

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Article filed under Broadband | Written by Christopher | No Comments | Updated on Jan 14, 2015

President Obama Speaks Against Barriers to Community Networks

The content that follows was originally published on the Institute for Local Self-Reliance website at http://ilsr.org/president-obama-speaks-barriers-community-networks/

When we started to hear rumors that the White House was investigating community owned networks, we were excited but not sure what to expect. I have to admit that seeing President Obama – the President of the United States – saying that Cedar Falls was smart to invest in themselves was much more powerful than… Continue reading