Over the last decade, Walmart has emerged as one of the country’s largest funders of political campaigns. Its dollars skew heavily in favor of candidates who routinely vote against the environment. Continue reading
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Even as Walmart has been hyping its supposed environmental epiphany, it has continued to unroll vast, low-rise supercenters at breakneck speed. Since 2005, Walmart has added more than 1,100 new supercenters, almost all built on land that hadn’t been developed previously. Continue reading
While the number of miles logged going to work, social events, and other activities declined over the last decade, the number of miles families drive for shopping each year continued climb. Continue reading
A new and vastly improved climate change policy has come out of nowhere to capture the imagination of state and national policymakers: "Cap and dividend." It works like this: Step one, impose a carbon cap. Step two, auction off all carbon allowances. Step three, return most of (if not all) the revenues generated to all households on a per capita basis. Continue reading
On Sept. 22, in a speech to 100 world leaders gathered at the United Nations to discuss climate change, President Barack Obama declared the U.S. “determined to act.” But at the same time, word began to circulate on Capitol Hill that the Senate might be equally determined not to vote on the climate bill any… Continue reading
So far, the public debate about cars and climate change has been dominated by fuel economy. But driving has been growing at such a rapid pace that even a big advance in fuel economy is likely to be wiped out by ever more miles on the road. This is where local stores come in. Dozens of studies have found that people who live near small stores walk more for errands and, when they do drive, their trips are shorter. Continue reading
Most environmental leaders and Democratic Party officials argue that we should support the Waxman-Markey carbon cap and trade bill (American Clean Energy Security Act) no matter how imperfect because it represents an important small step forward. In this commentary by David Morris, he concludes that the bill would be acceptable if it was stripped of its cap and trade provisions. Retaining the cap and trade provisions and he sees it as a giant step backwards that may well hobble further progress in federal efforts to combat climate change for years to come.
In the 1990s, the Institute for Local Self-Reliance and other energy activists in Minnesota undertook an effort to get Minnesota to adopt a billion dollar "tax shift" that would have raised the cost of energy while reducing taxes on income and/or property. ILSR was integrally involved in the design of the legislative proposal and examined the impacts on various sectors of Minnesota’s economy. Below you will find the archive of the materials that were prepared to support the initiative. Over several years, the proposal was debated extensively but never enacted into law. Continue reading
On Sunday, April 26, David Morris addressed a crowd hosted by the DFL Education Foundation, on the challenges of developing renewable energy in a time of economic turmoil. His remarks follow:
I appreciate the opportunity to speak to this distinguished audience this evening. My charge is to address the question, “Can We Be Green in a Recession?” Or as the teaser for this meeting puts it, can we be green without green?
A new policy brief from the Institute for Local Self-Reliance concludes that universal dividends are a critically important tool to create the political will and public acceptance for a carbon cap. Universal dividends have the potential to hold harmless a large segment of consumers while we move to a low-carbon economy. Moreover, the universal dividend honors the principle that the sky belongs to all of us equally. Continue reading