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Featured Article, ILSR Press Room filed under Energy, Energy Self-Reliant States | Written by John Farrell | No Comments | Updated on Sep 12, 2017

Press Release: Mayor Hodges’ Budget Would Make Minneapolis a National Clean Energy Leader

The content that follows was originally published on the Institute for Local Self-Reliance website at https://ilsr.org/press-release-hodges-budget-energy-leader/

MINNEAPOLIS, MINN. — Cities across the country are grappling with extreme weather, rising sea levels, and an urgent need to reduce greenhouse gas emissions. Many of them have committed to do what they can to address this crisis. But the City of Minneapolis, under a budget proposed by Mayor Betsy Hodges, is poised to do something novel: put real resources behind its climate and energy pledge. The mayor’s budget proposal would unlock more than $2 million in new funding, leverage more than $20 million in utility conservation funds and expand access to energy savings to many more residents and businesses. Continue reading

Featured Article, ILSR Press Room filed under Independent Business | Written by Nick Stumo-Langer | No Comments | Updated on Sep 7, 2017

Press Release: Amazon Angles for Subsidies in Search of Second HQ

The content that follows was originally published on the Institute for Local Self-Reliance website at https://ilsr.org/press-release-amazon-subsidies-hq/

In response to Amazon’s announcement that it is seeking a location for a second North American headquarters, Stacy Mitchell, co-director of the Institute for Local Self-Reliance and co-author of Amazon’s Stranglehold, issued the following statement:

“Amazon’s announcement that it’s opening a search for a second North American headquarters is only the latest play in Amazon’s long-time strategy of financing its growth through public subsidies. Over the last decade, as Amazon has mastered this strategy, it’s come to employ site location experts and lobbyists in its efforts to pit local and state governments against each other for the largest subsidy package…. Continue reading

Featured Article, ILSR Press Room filed under Energy, Energy Self-Reliant States | Written by Nick Stumo-Langer | No Comments | Updated on Aug 17, 2017

Press Release: Minneapolis Mayor’s Proposed Budget Unlocks $2M+ for Clean Energy

The content that follows was originally published on the Institute for Local Self-Reliance website at https://ilsr.org/press-release-minneapolis-franchise-fee/

MINNEAPOLIS, MINN. — A few weeks ago, cities across the country responded to President Trump’s intention to withdraw from the Paris Climate Accord with their own commitments. But the City of Minneapolis, under a budget proposed by Mayor Betsy Hodges, is poised to do something novel: put real resources behind its climate and energy pledge. The mayor’s budget proposal would unlock more than $2 million in new funding, leverage more than $20 million in utility conservation funds and expand access to energy savings to many more residents and businesses Continue reading

Article, ILSR Press Room filed under Independent Business | Written by Nick Stumo-Langer | No Comments | Updated on Jun 16, 2017

Press Release: Regulators Should Block Amazon’s Acquisition of Whole Foods

The content that follows was originally published on the Institute for Local Self-Reliance website at https://ilsr.org/press-release-amazon-whole-foods/

In response to Amazon’s announced acquisition of Whole Foods, Stacy Mitchell, co-director of the Institute for Local Self-Reliance (ILSR) and co-author of Amazon’s Stranglehold, made the following statement:

“Amazon’s acquisition of Whole Foods raises significant anti-competitive issues that should be deeply concerning to federal antitrust regulators and the public. This deal would allow Amazon to leverage the Whole Foods chain in ways that would expand its monopoly power in online commerce, including by integrating these locations into its rapidly growing logistics and delivery network…. Continue reading

Featured Article, ILSR Press Room filed under Composting, Waste to Wealth | Written by Nick Stumo-Langer | No Comments | Updated on May 5, 2017

Press Release: Maryland Governor Hogan Signs ILSR-led Bipartisan Bills to Advance Composting

The content that follows was originally published on the Institute for Local Self-Reliance website at https://ilsr.org/press-release-maryland-governor-hogan-signs-ilsr-led-bipartisan-bills-to-advance-composting/

ANNAPOLIS, MD – On Thursday, May 4th, Maryland Governor Larry Hogan signed two bills to advance composting in Maryland. One will bolster recovery of food waste and other organic materials by expanding infrastructure in the state. The other will reduce contamination at compost sites by preventing the false labeling of plastics as compostable or biodegradable. In signing the bills, which were among dozens of environmental bills passed by the Maryland legislature in 2017, Governor Hogan thanked the state’s elected officials for the real bipartisan effort in passing laws to “protect our soil, our air, and our water… and grow the investment in jobs in our state.”

HB171/SB99, the “Yard Waste and Food Residuals Diversion and Infrastructure Act,” requires the Maryland Department of the Environment to study and report on existing compost manufacturing infrastructure in Maryland, as well as laws in other states that divert food scraps and organics, and to then recommend how to improve infrastructure and funding opportunities to expand composting in the Maryland. The bill requires the Department to consult with the Institute for Local Self-Reliance, along with a number of ILSR’s allies including the MD-DC Compost Council, the American Biogas Council, the Maryland Horse Council, the Chesapeake Foodshed Network, the Chesapeake Alliance for Sustainable Agriculture, and the Chesapeake Sustainable Business Council. Continue reading

Article, ILSR Press Room filed under Broadband | Written by Nick Stumo-Langer | No Comments | Updated on Apr 25, 2017

Press Release: Newly Introduced Maine Bill Would Limit Local Authority over Broadband Infrastructure Investment

The content that follows was originally published on the Institute for Local Self-Reliance website at https://ilsr.org/press-release-newly-introduced-maine-bill-would-limit-local-authority-over-broadband-infrastructure-investment/

MINNEAPOLIS, MN – Maine State Representative Nathan Wadsworth (R-Hiram) introduced a bill to revoke local authority over building Internet networks needed by local businesses and residents. The one-time Maine state ALEC chair introduced HP 1040 (also cross filed as LD 1516) to advantage the big cable and telephone monopolies.

This bill will introduce procedural hurdles to discourage local governments from investing in modern broadband networks, including public-private partnerships with companies rooted in Maine – like GWI. Little has changed since 2014, when Gizmodo rated Maine 49th in terms of broadband Internet service. Rather than finding ways to encourage investment, this bill would have the state actually slow it. Continue reading

Article, ILSR Press Room filed under Composting, Waste to Wealth | Written by Nick Stumo-Langer | No Comments | Updated on Apr 21, 2017

Press Release: Composting Builds Soil Health, Earth Day 2017 Resources Available

The content that follows was originally published on the Institute for Local Self-Reliance website at https://ilsr.org/press-release-composting-builds-soil-health-earth-day-2017-resources-available/

WASHINGTON, D.C. – The first Earth Day in 1970 sparked not only the beginning of the environmental movement, but also the birth of the modern recycling movement. Today, recycling of paper, bottles, and cans is the norm, but food waste recovery remains paltry. Less than 5% of food thrown away is recovered. According to the Institute for Local Self-Reliance (ILSR), almost half of typical garbage could be converted into compost (Source: ILSR’s Infographic).

Compost is recognized for its ability to enhance soil fertility, soil water holding capacity, and soil carbon storage. To celebrate Earth Day 2017, ILSR has released a series of posters illustrating these benefits, along with other resources to spur community scale composting projects. Continue reading

Featured Article, ILSR Press Room filed under General | Written by Nick Stumo-Langer | No Comments | Updated on Apr 19, 2017

Press Release: Walmart’s Climate Pollution Grows as It Scales Back Renewable Power

The content that follows was originally published on the Institute for Local Self-Reliance website at https://ilsr.org/press-release-walmart-climate-2017/

More than a decade after Walmart pledged to become an environmental leader, the company’s climate emissions continue to rise, according to data released today by the Institute for Local Self-Reliance (ILSR).

ILSR found that Walmart has scaled back its renewable power projects in the U.S. The amount of renewable energy the company derives from its clean energy projects and special purchases fell by 16% since 2013. Walmart derives only 2.4% of the electricity it uses in the U.S. from its own renewable energy projects, down from nearly 3.2% in 2013. Meanwhile, Walmart’s greenhouse gas emissions in the U.S. have risen 2% since 2013. Continue reading

Article, ILSR Press Room filed under Broadband | Written by Nick Stumo-Langer | No Comments | Updated on Apr 12, 2017

Press Release: Tennessee Sends Broadband Accessibility Act of 2017 to Gov. Haslam’s Desk

The content that follows was originally published on the Institute for Local Self-Reliance website at https://ilsr.org/press-release-tennessee-sends-broadband-accessibility-act-of-2017-to-gov-haslams-desk/

MINNEAPOLIS, MN – Late yesterday, the Tennessee Legislature officially sent Governor Bill Haslam’s signature legislation, the Broadband Accessibility Act of 2017, to his desk. Unfortunately, this bill is more about making taxpayer dollars accessible to AT&T than ensuring rural regions get modern Internet access.

“What we have on one side is a taxpayer-funded subsidy program, and on the other we have a subscriber-based model,” says Christopher Mitchell, director of the Community Broadband Networks initiative at the Institute for Local Self-Reliance. “The tragic thing is, AT&T is a taxpayer subsidized monopoly in rural Tennessee that only has to provide a service far slower than the definition of broadband. Locally-rooted networks like Chattanooga’s EPB not only offer nation-leading services but have tremendous community support.” Continue reading

ILSR Press Room filed under Independent Business | Written by Nick Stumo-Langer | No Comments | Updated on Mar 23, 2017

J.C. Penney, Sears and Kmart Store Closings the Latest Casualty as Amazon Continues to Dominate Retail Sphere

The content that follows was originally published on the Institute for Local Self-Reliance website at https://ilsr.org/j-c-penney-sears-and-kmart-store-closings-the-latest-casualty-as-amazon-continues-to-dominate-retail-sphere/

PHOENIX, March 23, 2017 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) — News outlets are taking notice of J.C. Penney, but locally-owned small businesses – the proverbial “canary in the coal mine” have been dealing with everything from big box stores to e-commerce. In the wake of 138 store closings announced by J.C. Penney plus another 150 Sears and Kmarts — most in small cities — national retailers are now feeling the pinch too. The Institute for Local Self Reliance (www.ILSR.org) and Local First Arizona (www.localfirstaz.com) are calling on the nation to shift a portion of their shopping from online retailers like Amazon to locally owned or national retailers in their communities.

According to ILSR, Amazon, the rapidly expanding company founded by Jeff Bezos in 1995, is undermining competition and reshaping the U.S. economy in ways that curtail opportunities for small businesses, reduce jobs and wages, limit product diversity and the choices available to consumers, and harm the economic and fiscal underpinnings of communities, according to a report produced by ILSR. Continue reading