Ever wonder what happened to the notion last August that the city of Minneapolis would take over its energy utilities? While it may seem like the issue vanished, next Monday the Minneapolis City Council makes a monumental decision on another way forward to a better energy future. On the table is a novel partnership between the … Read More
This week’s rumblings on municipal broadband held more reverberations from last week’s announcement that the FCC would take up formal proceedings regarding Chattanooga, TN and Wilson, NC petitions. The message for preempting state laws is being amplified, first Business Insider wrote this piece on How “Gig City” Chattanooga is putting Big Cable on the ropes: “Ultimately what it … Read More
“They need some more support from the Legislature in having a critical eye,” said John Farrell, of the Institute for Local Self-Reliance. “I think the laws that they operate under don’t give them a lot of flexibility to question…the base assumptions that Xcel is bringing to the table.” Check out the 2-minute video clip
“We have this once-in-a-generation negotiation coming up next year and it’s a chance for Minneapolis to explore what its energy choices might be and how it could achieve its energy goals.” Earlier this week, the Minneapolis city council got an early look at an important “pathways study,” outlining the legal and policy strategies the city could … Read More
A lot of folks came to a hearing at Minneapolis City Hall eight days ago to oppose a ballot measure authorizing the city to form a municipal utility. Mostly they argued that the status quo is sufficient. I’d like to ask if they understand the question. This commentary was originally published by the Star Tribune on … Read More
Like many cities attempting to solve climate change at a local level, Minneapolis is finding the prospect more challenging that it may have imagined. The lion’s share of emissions (two-thirds in the case of Minneapolis) come from electricity and gas sold by two monopoly, corporate utilities. Minnesota’s state-level policy is helping: a renewable energy standard pushes … Read More
Be suspicious of megamall subsidy Federal tax law discourages individual investment and local ownership of turbines. By David Morris, originally published in the Minneapolis Star Tribune, May 2, 2008 The almost-certainly-soon-to-be-passed $370 million tax subsidy to the Mall of America is the kind of initiative that makes people wonder whose side government is on. Here’s what … Read More
On June 27, the Supreme Court ruled that cable companies have the sole authority to decide who may use their high-speed communications networks. They can decide what information to transmit, and what information they will refuse to transmit.
The decision clears the way for the FCC to allow phone companies to monopolize their own information highways. And it underscores the need for communities to build their own information infrastructure.
Both cable and phone companies want to sign up as many Internet subscribers as possible because in the near future, phone, television and Internet will all be offered through the same broadband connection. … Read More