Natural gas utilities lobby for pre-emption against gas bans and building decarbonization

Across the country, natural gas utilities and their lobby, the American Gas Association, are lobbying state legislatures to adopt laws preempting cities and municipalities from banning new natural gas infrastructure in order to combat climate change. Preemption laws are an anti-majoritarian tool increasingly used by business lobbying groups and conservative lawmakers to stem grassroots progressive momentum. Gas Industry Lobbies In …

Small businesses are disappearing across most sectors even though they often outperform their bigger competitors on price and quality. Big businesses with more political power tilt the playing field & destroy community economic vitality but policies can help

States and cities have potent policy tools for checking corporate power and sparking a new wave of entrepreneurship and small business development. We define “independent” to mean that the owners have full control over the business; that it’s not a franchise or subsidiary of a larger corporation. “Locally owned” means that the owner(s) live in the region. In many sectors, …

Getting off fossils sooner rather than later saves money

Jan-Feb 2021: ExxonMobil announced a $19.3 billion write-down this week – reducing the value of the assets on its books – a big hit to a company reeling from depressed oil and gas prices and a rapidly changing global energy market. The fossil fuel giant, however, may be understating the financial damage to its assets, according to a former ExxonMobil …

Facebook as a regulated utility?

Excerpt from Steven Hill, Should President Biden Revoke Section 230? https://www.laprogressive.com/revoke-section-230/ Jan 2021 Facebook is no longer simply a “social networking” website – it is the largest media giant in the history of the world, a combination publisher and broadcaster with approximately 2.6 billion regular users, plus billions more on the Facebook-owned WhatsApp and Instagram. A mere 100 pieces of COVID-19 …

No Debate, Most Oil Shale Is Doomed. Meanwhile, FF bankruptcy filings show funding of climate change denialism

Oct. 27, 2020 Seeking Alpha.com by Kirk Spano https://seekingalpha.com/article/4381730-no-debate-oil-shale-is-doomed Shale has huge competition to fill remaining oil demand. Zero cash takeovers for Permian producers is a very bad signal for the rest of the industry. Debt-laden shale companies simply cannot pay down debt at likely demand and prices – a last wave of bankruptcies and takeunders is coming. There might …

Just recovery policies

Foundations for a Just Recovery Many of the policy solutions we advocate for a just recovery are cross-cutting by nature. They aim to shift mindsets, cultural norms, how people are treated, how our voices are heard, and how bedrock environmental laws are upheld, creating an overarching structure from which to fight for social, environmental, and economic justice. Honor those whose …

Utility uses undercover consultant and paid actors to influence stakeholder process

 Daniel Tait  •  November 22, 2020, Energy & Policy Institute UPDATE 12/16/20: The Mississippi Public Service Commission, after EPI’s publication, directed its staff and representatives to, “not engage in any dialogue, formal or informal, related to public policy or any other matter within the Commission’s jurisdiction, with any stakeholder or other participant who declines to publicly disclose who he or she represents.” …

More dark money traced to utilities

American Electric PowerFirstEnergyUncategorized More Generation Now dark money traced to AEP in Ohio corruption scandal Also, Virginia Lawmaker Coordinated Support for Mountain Valley Pipeline With Project’s Lobbyist by Itai Vardi More Generation Now dark money traced to AEP by Dave Anderson, December 2, 2020 A Columbus group funded solely by AEP paid just over a half-million dollars last year to Generation Now, …

Of the $4 trillion that the U.S. government has put toward the pandemic response, only a fifth went to help workers and families and just 16% health response

how the $4 trillion that the U.S. government has put toward the pandemic response has been spent. As the Washington Post reported last month: [More] than half of that sum, roughly $2.3 trillion, has gone to businesses that in many cases didn’t need the help or weren’t required to show they used the taxpayer funds to keep workers on the job. By contrast, …

PUC Regulator Wrong-doing

‘I don’t think we held PG&E accountable,’ says state whistleblower The CPUC allowed PG&E to avoid punishment for sparking deadly wildfires by breaking safety rules. The agency’s most recent manager says she’s sorry and it was wrong. California whistleblower says PG&E free of consequences | FIRE – POWER – MONEY, Season 2 Ep. 4 Brandon Rittiman, December 4, 2020 SACRAMENTO, …