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
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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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
MINNEAPOLIS, MN – Another year in Missouri and another bill from the big telephone companies to limit broadband competition in the state house. The bill introduced by Senator Ed Emery (R-Lamar), SB 186, seeks to limit the power of municipalities to provide competition to entrenched incumbent Internet Service Providers.
SB 186 imposes unworkable restrictions on local governments to prevent “competitive service,” which includes both retail and wholesale models – preventing municipalities from working with private sector partners. The bill establishes onerous hurdles for communities attempting to engage in a feasibility study and discourages them from pursuing a chance to serve their residents, businesses, and municipal facilities. Much of this bill’s language comes from last year’s rejected HB 2078. Continue reading