Tag Archives: comcast

Should big corporations pay for clean energy? Portland voters will decide.

A new ballot initiative in Portland would raise $30 million a year for clean energy through a tax on giant retailers. Sound unusual? It is.

The campaign for the Portland Clean Energy Fund is led by groups representing communities of color and grassroots environmental organizations. The local branches of the Sierra Club, 350.org, and the NAACP are all involved, too.

“It’s groundbreaking,” says Jenny Lee, advocacy director at the Coalition of Communities of Color, another organization spearheading the measure. “It’s the first environmental or climate initiative, as far as we know, that’s been led by organizations of color in Oregon.”

The campaign officially qualified for the November ballot on Friday after gathering 60,000 signatures from Portland voters (it only needed 34,000.) Lee says the volume of signatures speaks to the public enthusiasm for the measure, which would place a 1 percent charge on mega-retailers on revenue from Portland sales, excluding groceries and medicine.

So who would be paying up? We’re talking Wells Fargo, Apple, Comcast, and Banana Republic — companies that make over $1 billion in revenue a year and over $500,000 in Portland alone.

Between 40 and 60 percent of the money in the fund would be directed toward renewable energy and energy efficiency projects — half of which must be specifically intended to benefit low-income residents and communities of color. The fund devotes 20-25 percent to clean-energy jobs training that prioritizes women, people of color, and people with disabilities; 10-15 percent to greenhouse gas sequestration programs; and 5 percent to a flexible “future innovation” fund.

It’s the latest instance of social justice advocates and grassroots organizers calling for climate action in the Northwest. In Washington state, a wide coalition introduced a “carbon fee” that’s almost certainly headed to the ballot this November. If passed, it would become the first state law that looks anything like a carbon tax.

This recent wave of ballot initiatives followed some legislative letdowns in the region. Right after a carbon-tax proposal fizzled out in the Washington Senate in March, Oregon lawmakers set aside their plans for a cap-and-trade program. “Maybe Blue States Won’t Take Serious Action on Climate Change,” ran a headline in The Atlantic at the time. The article called into question the narrative we keep hearing — you know, the one about progressive cities and states fighting for climate action when the federal government refuses to.

While elected officials are one way to change policy, ballot initiatives are another — and they’re beginning to look like a hallmark of the Northwest’s climate justice movement.

“We knew that we couldn’t count on our legislators, both at the state and city level,” says Khanh Pham, manager of immigrant organizing at the Asian Pacific American Network of Oregon, who served on the steering committee for the Portland Clean Energy Fund.

Initially, Pham says, her group wanted to take the measure to city council — an easier, more familiar way to pass city legislation. But without strong support from their local elected officials, they decided to try and put something on the ballot instead.

She says the Portland Clean Energy Fund would be complementary to other climate policies, such as a statewide carbon price. It’s meant to address the hidden carbon emissions in the products we buy.

“When I buy clothing that comes from China or Vietnam, or food from Peru, there’s a lot of carbon emissions that are baked into those supply chains from these global retailers that are unaccounted for,” Pham says.

Reverend E.D. Mondainé, president of the NAACP Portland Branch and chief petitioner of the Portland Clean Energy Fund.Rick Rappaport / Portland Clean Energy Fund

It’s challenging to raise revenue in Oregon, especially to meet the needs of vulnerable communities, says Tony DeFalco, Verde executive director and one of the initiative’s organizers.

In 2016, Oregon voters shot down Measure 97, an attempt to place a 2.5 percent tax on corporations with more than $25 million a year in Oregon sales. DeFalco says the new initiative wasn’t inspired by that attempt. Measure 97 did, however, suggest that Portland has some appetite for a tax on corporations: 60 percent of the city voted for the measure, which would have spent the money on education, health care, and senior services.

Still, the groups behind the measure know they’re up against a challenge. There’s already a PAC, Keep Portland Affordable, that’s fighting the new initiative.

“We knew that we needed to be organizing in communities beyond our own to win this,” Pham says. “It’s been really eye-opening to see the power that a coalition like ours can build — a green-brown coalition.”

Portland is 78 percent white, making it the whitest big city in America. But communities of color have always been in Portland, says Lee, and her group is seeking to make them more visible. This ballot initiative is one such effort, she says:

“It’s a very clear statement that we are here, we are leading on policy, and we are also building political power.”

Visit site: 

Should big corporations pay for clean energy? Portland voters will decide.

Posted in alo, Anchor, FF, GE, ONA, The Atlantic, Uncategorized | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , | Comments Off on Should big corporations pay for clean energy? Portland voters will decide.

Republicans Just Voted to Let Internet Service Providers Sell Your Browsing History

Mother Jones

<!DOCTYPE html PUBLIC “-//W3C//DTD HTML 4.0 Transitional//EN” “http://www.w3.org/TR/REC-html40/loose.dtd”>

The Republican-controlled US House of Representatives on Tuesday repealed privacy rules that would have required internet service providers such as Comcast and Time Warner Cable to get consumers’ consent before selling or sharing their web browsing data with advertisers and other companies.

“Consumers should be in control of their own information,” Rep. Jared Polis, (D-Colo.) said in testifying against the bill. “They shouldn’t be forced to sell and give that information to who-knows-who simply for the price of admission for access to the internet.”

The vote overturned rules passed in October by the Federal Communications Commission that tightened limits on what internet service providers (ISPs) could do with their users’ data. The rules, which would have taken effect later this year, required ISPs to notify consumers about the type of information they collect, and obtain their consent, before selling it to third parties. The rules also made ISPs more accountable for preventing data breaches.

The measure was passed on a 215 to 205 vote, with most Republicans in favor of the repeal and most Democrats against. It still needs to be signed by President Donald Trump before it will become law, though that appears to be a given after the White House expressed support for the repeal on Tuesday.

The repeal measure was originally introduced in the US Senate by Jeff Flake, (R-Ariz.), where it passed last week on a party-line vote. Flake has argued that the FCC rules could “limit consumer choice, stifle innovation, and jeopardize data security by destabilizing the internet ecosystem.” Ajit Pai, Donald Trump’s FCC chairman, has argued that the rules put ISPs at a disadvantage to internet companies such as Google and Facebook, which are able to harvest and monetize personal information more freely.

But privacy advocates say that stricter rules for ISPs make sense. “Google doesn’t see everything you do on the Internet (neither does Facebook, for that matter, or any other online platform)—they only see the traffic you send to them,” according to an explainer on the rules by Electronic Frontier Foundation. “And you can always choose to use a different website if you want to avoid Google’s tracking. None of that is true about your ISP… That’s why we need the FCC’s privacy rules: ISPs are in a position of power, and they’ve shown they’re willing to abuse that power.”

The acronym “ISP” should now stand for “Information Sold For Profit” and “Invading Subscriber Privacy,” said Sen. Ed Markey (D-Mass.) during last week’s debate over the bill in the Senate. “President Trump may be outraged by fake violations of his own privacy, but every American should be alarmed by the very real violation of privacy that will result from the Republican roll-back of broadband privacy protections.”

Link to article:

Republicans Just Voted to Let Internet Service Providers Sell Your Browsing History

Posted in FF, GE, LAI, LG, ONA, Radius, Uncategorized, Venta | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , | Comments Off on Republicans Just Voted to Let Internet Service Providers Sell Your Browsing History

Donald Trump Promises to Sue Women Who Accused Him of Assault

Mother Jones

On Saturday, Donald Trump vowed to sue the 11 women who have come forward over the last few weeks with accusations of sexual assault against the Republican presidential nominee.

“Every woman lied when they came forward to hurt my campaign,” Trump claimed. “Total fabrication, the events never happened—never. All of these liars will be sued after the election is over.”

Trump’s threat came during a speech in Gettysburg, Pennsylvania, which was plugged as a major policy speech to lay out his first 100 days in office should he win the election next month. His promise to sue his accusers wasn’t the only notable moment.

While taking a hard line on his accusers, he seems to be softening on a key campaign promise: That the US will build a wall along its southern border and that Mexico will pay for it. Now, according to his speech, his position is that the United States will pay for the wall but Mexico will reimburse the US.

Trump also promised to break up Comcast and NBC as part of a response to media bias against him during the campaign.

Excerpt from – 

Donald Trump Promises to Sue Women Who Accused Him of Assault

Posted in alo, FF, GE, LAI, LG, ONA, Radius, Uncategorized, Venta | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , | Comments Off on Donald Trump Promises to Sue Women Who Accused Him of Assault

Quote of the Day: FCC Chair Pretends to Change Course on Net Neutrality

Mother Jones

<!DOCTYPE html PUBLIC “-//W3C//DTD HTML 4.0 Transitional//EN” “http://www.w3.org/TR/REC-html40/loose.dtd”>

From an anonymous FCC official:

There is a wide feeling on the eighth floor that this is a debacle and I think people would like to see a change of course. We may not agree on the course, but we agree the road we’re on is to disaster.

The debacle in question is the proposal by FCC chair Tom Wheeler that would gut net neutrality by allowing big companies to pay ISPs for faster internet service. Wheeler’s proposal has provoked a massive backlash, and he’s now promising revisions:

The new language by FCC Chairman Tom Wheeler to be circulated as early as Monday is an attempt to address criticism of his proposal….In the new draft, Mr. Wheeler is sticking to the same basic approach but will include language that would make clear that the FCC will scrutinize the deals to make sure that the broadband providers don’t unfairly put nonpaying companies’ content at a disadvantage, according to an agency official.

….An agency official said the draft would also seek comment on whether such agreements, called “paid prioritization,” should be banned outright, and look to prohibit the big broadband companies, such as Comcast Corp. and AT&T Inc., from doing deals with some content companies on terms that they aren’t offering to others.

Mr. Wheeler’s language will also invite comments on whether broadband Internet service should be considered a public utility, which would subject it to greater regulation. The FCC has so far not reclassified broadband as a utility, and providers have fiercely opposed such a move, saying it would cause innovation and investment to collapse.

Color me unimpressed. A promise that the FCC will “scrutinize” deals is basically worthless, and inviting comments on reclassifying broadband internet service will lead nowhere if Wheeler himself doesn’t support it—which he doesn’t. This looks mostly like smoke and mirrors to me.

Visit site:  

Quote of the Day: FCC Chair Pretends to Change Course on Net Neutrality

Posted in FF, GE, LG, ONA, Uncategorized, Venta | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , | Comments Off on Quote of the Day: FCC Chair Pretends to Change Course on Net Neutrality

Most Senators Overseeing the Comcast-Time Warner Deal Have Taken Money From Both

Mother Jones

<!DOCTYPE html PUBLIC “-//W3C//DTD HTML 4.0 Transitional//EN” “http://www.w3.org/TR/REC-html40/loose.dtd”>

Today the Senate Judiciary Committee heard testimony from Comcast and Time Warner executives about their extraordinarily controversial merger proposal. A recent poll found that 52 percent of respondents believed mergers like it lead to reduced competition and poorer service for consumers.

At today’s hearing, a number of the senators expressed concern about the deal which, if approved, would result in a single company serving slightly less than 30 percent of the US paid television market and up to 40 percent of American broadband subscribers. Chairman Leahy (D-Vt.) started the proceedings, saying that “thousands of Americans have flooded the FCC Federal Communications Commission in recent weeks with comments supporting the restoration of open-internet rules. Their voices on this issue should be heard.”

But Leahy and most of his colleagues have already “heard” from both Comcast and Time Warner—in the form of generous campaign contributions. Out of the committee’s 18 members, 15 have accepted donations from at least one of the two media giants since the 2010 election cycle; 12 have received money from both. The average contribution over that time: $16,285. Democrats were the biggest recipients, taking an average of $18,531 from the two cable and internet giants, nearly twice as much as their Republican counterparts. Here’s the breakdown:

Time Warner

Chris Coons (D-Del.)

Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.)

Orin Hatch (R-Utah)

Amy Klobuchar (D-Minn.)

Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.)

Sheldon Whitehouse (D-R.I.)

Dick Durbin (D-Ill.)

Richard Blumenthal (D-Conn.)

Al Franken (D-Minn.)

Chuck Grassley (R-Iowa)

Diane Feinstein (D-Calif.)

Mazie Hirono (D-Hawaii)

Ted Cruz (R-Texas)

John Cornyn (R-Texas)

Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.)

Jeff Flake (R-Ariz.)

Mike Lee (R-Utah)

Jeff Sessions (R-Ala.)

Source: Center for Responsive Politics

Taken from: 

Most Senators Overseeing the Comcast-Time Warner Deal Have Taken Money From Both

Posted in Anchor, FF, GE, LG, ONA, Radius, Uncategorized, Venta | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , | Comments Off on Most Senators Overseeing the Comcast-Time Warner Deal Have Taken Money From Both

Why Are Americans Always Predicting Their Own Impending Doom?

Mother Jones

<!DOCTYPE html PUBLIC “-//W3C//DTD HTML 4.0 Transitional//EN” “http://www.w3.org/TR/REC-html40/loose.dtd”>

This story first appeared on the TomDispatch website.

Wherever we Americans look, the threat of apocalypse stares back at us.

Two clouds of genuine doom still darken our world: nuclear extermination and environmental extinction. If they got the urgent action they deserve, they would be at the top of our political priority list.

But they have a hard time holding our attention, crowded out as they are by a host of new perils also labeled “apocalyptic”: mounting federal debt, the government’s plan to take away our guns, corporate control of the Internet, the Comcast-Time Warner mergerocalypse, Beijing’s pollution airpocalypse, the American snowpocalypse, not to speak of earthquakes and plagues. The list of topics, thrown at us with abandon from the political right, left, and center, just keeps growing.

Continue Reading »


Why Are Americans Always Predicting Their Own Impending Doom?

Posted in alternative energy, Anchor, FF, GE, LAI, LG, ONA, Prepara, Radius, solar, Uncategorized, Venta | Tagged , , , , , , , | Comments Off on Why Are Americans Always Predicting Their Own Impending Doom?

The FCC Takes Yet Another Crack at Net Neutrality

Mother Jones

<!DOCTYPE html PUBLIC “-//W3C//DTD HTML 4.0 Transitional//EN” “http://www.w3.org/TR/REC-html40/loose.dtd”>

After losing a court battle over its effort to impose net neutrality requirements on broadband carriers, the FCC is taking another crack at it:

The Federal Communications Commission said Wednesday that it will craft new rules to prevent Internet service providers from charging companies like Netflix Inc. or Google Inc. a toll to reach consumers at the highest speeds.

The guidelines are expected to ban broadband providers from blocking or slowing down access to any websites. Supporters say the concept, known as “net neutrality,” is crucial to keeping the Internet open and allowing smaller companies to compete with the biggest content providers. But the courts have ruled against the FCC’s last two attempts to enforce net neutrality on companies like Comcast Corp. and Verizon Communications Inc. that provide Internet connections to households and businesses.

The Journal has an accompanying article about the feud between Netflix and the large backbone carriers that’s causing slowdowns in Netflix service:

Verizon has a policy of requiring payments from networks that dump more data into its pipes than they carry in return. “When one party’s getting all the benefit and the other’s carrying all the cost, issues will arise,” said Craig Silliman, Verizon’s head of public policy and government affairs.

The Internet has historically been built on arrangements in which big networks agree to swap each other’s traffic without charge, based on the assumption that it will all even out over time. But, America’s heavy use of video services like Netflix and Amazon.com Inc., as well as expanded online offerings from TV channels like ESPN, is making these old arrangements less tenable.

….The pendulum has been swinging toward the carriers in such disputes. In recent years several big Web companies, including Google Inc., Microsoft Corp., and Facebook Inc., have begun paying major U.S. broadband providers for direct connections that bring faster and smoother access into their networks. Netflix, so far, has held out.

It’s not clear if net neutrality rules would affect this particular dispute or not. It probably depends on how the rules are written, and no details were provided today. I imagine the rules-writing process will take quite a while, so this isn’t going to be resolved anytime soon.

See the original post: 

The FCC Takes Yet Another Crack at Net Neutrality

Posted in FF, GE, LG, ONA, Uncategorized, Venta | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , | Comments Off on The FCC Takes Yet Another Crack at Net Neutrality