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This report is based on the results of a scientific, national phone survey of 555 owners of small businesses (2 to 99 employees) conducted in June 2014. The survey found that clear majorities of small business owners are concerned about how climate change will affect their companies, including its impact on energy costs, health care costs and the infrastructure they depend on. Survey respondents voiced strong support for government action to address climate change, specifically, efforts to limit carbon pollution from power plants which produce a third of all U.S. carbon emissions. Significantly, a plurality (43%) of business owners surveyed self- identified as either Republican or Republican-leaning Independent.
To develop a more comprehensive assessment, this report takes a closer look at both benefits and costs of drilling activity in Carroll County, Ohio. It is designed to help local government officials and community stakeholders in neighboring counties anticipate what to expect as activity unfolds in their own communities. We hope to shed light and promote discussion around maximizing benefits while minimizing costs of shale development with public policies that can help balance these interests.
The Multi-State Shale Research Collaborative, of which Policy Matters Ohio is a member, has released case studies examining the impacts of shale oil and gas drilling on four active drilling communities — Carroll County, Ohio; Greene and Tioga counties, Pennsylvania; and Wetzel County, West Virginia.
Highlights from two recent studies suggest that ranked choice voting (RCV) has been embraced by voters and candidates alike, who see it as a means of reducing divisive politics and fostering more positive, inclusive, and informative campaigns. One key finding: Candidates who participated in RCV elections were significantly less likely to claim that they had been portrayed or described negatively by their opponents, or to admit that they had portrayed an opponent negatively.
The built environment accounts for approximately half the energy use and carbon footprint of the United States. Lean Buildings reduce energy flows by tapping basic natural heating and cooling techniques and renewable energy sources in ways that are region-specific and climate-sensitive. This paper offers strategies to reduce material and energy consumption, including the use of local and recycled materials, heavy insulation, building orientation, passive solar systems, and dense urban configurations. Issues of energy quantity and quality, energy codes and metrics, as well as building size and configuration, are also discussed.
Small residential and commercial rental properties owned by individual landlords are important to the diversity and adaptability of cities as a whole. The owners of small rental properties face challenges, many due to economies of scale, in areas like energy efficiency and building management. In the United States, more than two-thirds of unsubsidized rental housing units are owned by individual landlords, and small buildings make up most urban neighborhoods; further, neighborhoods with small lots and buildings are more dense, and contain more jobs and businesses per square foot compared to neighborhoods dominated by large properties. Owners of small properties can improve their economic performance and the quality of their properties by investing in professional management, by buying buildings that are close to each other, standardize appliances and fixtures across units, and investing in technology like internet-connected water meters, thermostats, and irrigation control.
The U.S. housing market has seen significant transformation in the last few years, calling for a return of smaller, more efficient dwellings. Design and construction principles from places like the Philippines where pragmatic building practices employing simple construction methods with local, readily available materials are more common may offer useful techniques for developing Lean Housing in the United States.
Identifies and contextualizes the individual and larger effects of transit deserts in Cook County, where communities lack of mobility options and access to high quality transit despite having a high demand for transit options.
New laws were signed by Governor Andrew Cuomo in 2013 regarding notice requirements in the Brownfield Cleanup Program, Bottle Bill enforcement, mercury thermostats, oversized lobsters, shark fins, and Eurasian boars, among other things. On the regulatory front, the state promulgated final regulations concerning New York\'s participation in the Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative and regulatory relief for certain dairy farms, and proposed regulations for liquefied natural gas facilities and invasive species. This annual survey describes new environmental laws that were enacted in New York in 2013, as well as several significant regulatory developments. Specifically, this survey looks at developments in the areas of air emissions, brownfields, energy, infrastructure, land preservation, solid and hazardous waste, water pollution, and wildlife.
Transit defines the vibrancy of downtowns in the northern suburbs of Chicago. Metra and CTA stations, and the development they support, help commuters get to jobs and run errands on their way home, all with little or no driving. Residents come together in these downtown station areas to eat, drink, socialize, borrow library books, shop, and see their neighbors. These activity centers are the brand, lifeblood, and drivers of economic development in these communities. Rail transit anchors downtowns and neighborhoods in many communities throughout Chicago’s northern suburbs and across the region. Municipalities have used these transit-oriented developments, (TODs), to create a sense of place, add retail and housing, and enhance their tax bases. In doing so, TOD helps reduce driving, increase access to transit, and improve the local economy.