100 episodes

At the Institute for Local Self-Reliance, we work to break the chains of monopoly power in all sectors of our economy. From challenging incumbent cable monopolies in order to promote better Internet connectivity to pointing out how Amazon pushes local retailers out of the market, our researchers develop positive policy prescriptions to improve local economies. This podcast series provides a first glimpse at some of our newest original research and a unique economic perspective on today's most pressing topics.

Building Local Power Institute for Local Self-Reliance

    • News
    • 4.9 • 81 Ratings

At the Institute for Local Self-Reliance, we work to break the chains of monopoly power in all sectors of our economy. From challenging incumbent cable monopolies in order to promote better Internet connectivity to pointing out how Amazon pushes local retailers out of the market, our researchers develop positive policy prescriptions to improve local economies. This podcast series provides a first glimpse at some of our newest original research and a unique economic perspective on today's most pressing topics.

    In New York and Oregon, Canning Reduces Waste and Changes Lives — Episode 150 of Building Local Power

    In New York and Oregon, Canning Reduces Waste and Changes Lives — Episode 150 of Building Local Power

    In this episode of Building Local Power, host Jess Del Fiacco and Neil Seldman, Director of ILSR's Waste to Wealth initiative are joined by several guests who are involved in the canning community. Canners, also called waste pickers or scrappers, collect recyclable materials such as cans and bottles from the streets and redeem them at recycling centers. The guests are Christine Hegel and Jessica Yauri of Sure We Can, a nonprofit recycling center in New York City, and Taylor Cass Talbott and Kris Brown of Ground Score Association, a ‘peer-led’ initiative in Portland, Oregon, organized by and for workers who identify as canners.

    • 40 min
    Monopolistic Utility Companies Suppress the Use of Customer Data

    Monopolistic Utility Companies Suppress the Use of Customer Data

    On this episode of the Building Local Power Podcast, John Farrell, Co-Director of ILSR, is joined by Michael Murray, President of Mission Data. Mission Data is a national coalition of innovative technology companies that empower consumers to access their own energy usage data. John and Michael discuss how structural market problems prevent consumers from accessing electricity data, how monopoly utilities are exploiting smart meter data, and possible solutions for utilities to create a more decentralized energy system. 

    • 45 min
    Building Local Power Highlight: People Love Local Food. Yet Local Farmers are Disappearing. What's Going On?

    Building Local Power Highlight: People Love Local Food. Yet Local Farmers are Disappearing. What's Going On?

    Leah Douglas is a reporter at Reuters covering the politics of food, agriculture, and the environment. Douglas discusses how the poultry industry is structured by contract production, how dairy farms are the bedrock for many rural communities, and Earl Butz's conviction for farmers to plant "fence row to fence row" to enable economic food production. 

    • 5 min
    Corporations Rake in Subsidies at Communities' Expense

    Corporations Rake in Subsidies at Communities' Expense

    On this episode of the Building Local Power Podcast, Jess Del Fiacco is joined by her colleague and co-director of ILSR, Stacy Mitchell and Arlene Martínez, the Deputy Executive Director and Communications Director at Good Jobs First. Good Jobs First promotes government accountability in economic development and tracks corporate subsidies. Stacy and Arlene discuss the use of nondisclosure agreements, the acceleration of mega-deals during the pandemic, and what true economic development looks like. 

    • 42 min
    The Leaders Working to Build a Robust Small Business Economy

    The Leaders Working to Build a Robust Small Business Economy

    On this episode of the Building Local Power Podcast, we feature highlights from a recent ILSR event called "The Progressive Fight for Small Business" featuring Congresswoman Pramila Jayapal and White House Advisor Tim Wu. Jayapal talks about the intersectionality between small business, health care, minimum wage, and racial inequity. Wu discusses how we need to relearn the virtues of a true American economy and how consolidation and the rise of a middleman are two of the biggest problems we face today. 

    • 36 min
    Monopolistic Utilities Mitigate Regional Transmission Capacity

    Monopolistic Utilities Mitigate Regional Transmission Capacity

    On this episode of the Building Local Power Podcast, Jess Del Fiacco is joined by John Farrell and guest Ari Peskoe who is the director of the energy law initiative at Harvard Law School. They discuss the acts that Congress has passed to increase (but hasn't) competition in electric utilities, the four orders the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) ruled between 1996 and 2011, and the cost utility's evading competitive processes has on consumers. 

    • 51 min

Customer Reviews

4.9 out of 5
81 Ratings

81 Ratings

J. Barshop ,

Deeply substantial and amazingly practical

It’s obvious that Jess and the ILSR Team put extraordinary effort into finding guests that are authentic and truly care about being a positive force in this world - the insight that they bring to bear on the problems we’re facing is still mind-blowing Every. Single. Time.

No matter the topic, you’re guaranteed to gain something from every episode - can’t recommend Building Local Power enough 🙌

JDelurey ,

Exactly what I was looking for

Critically important answers to unasked and/or overlooked questions. So much of our energy space is captured by inertia. John and the ILSR gang shake things up in all the right ways.

sgilberg ,

Excellent

I am a longtime fan of ILSR's work (full disclosure: I'm a former employee), and this podcast is one of my favorite developments. These guys shed light on issues that others don't, present real solutions to otherwise daunting problems (with the research to back it up), and feature informed and engaging guests and staff. Keep it coming, friends!

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