Saturday, December 2, 2017

Public Banking and Sustainable Energy Development

In this blog I tend to focus on "critique" rather than recommending specific solutions. That is a flaw in my focus that I'm trying to rectify.

I'm trying to rectify it by identifying solutions that will help address catastrophic risks built into our infrastructures, especially financial and military-energy infrastructures, by the limited priorities and accountability of key decision-making institutions.

One solution is to increase the accountability of, and local control over, energy and finance. I think an important way that can occur is through public banking.

Banking should optimally reflect the public interest and public banking offers one strategy for achieving that aim.

The Public Banking Institute was founded with this objective. You can read about the institute and learn more about the legal and moral dimensions of public banking here in this article by the Public Banking Institute describing new memorandums that argue for the legal basis of public banking, a necessary step for moving forward with their creation:
Public Banking Institute

The first [memorandum] is a groundbreaking legal memorandum written by Davis Polk and Wardwell Law Firm, one of the most prestigious law firms in the country. Their work came about after Susan Harman (Friends of the Public Bank of Oakland and Commonomics) reached out to the Lawyers Committee for Civil Rights of the San Francisco Bay Area who arranged for the law firm's involvement.

The memo suggests writing legislation in California to establish a new kind of bank charter, or “license," that can serve to standardize the establishment of Public Banks in municipalities across the state. You may request a copy of this memo from Commonomics. The second was completed by Virtue & Najjar Law Firm for the City of Santa Fe: Link: Establishment and Operation of a Chartered Public Bank by the City of Santa Fe

Both memos discuss how a Public Bank might fit within the laws and regulatory requirements of State and Federal law, and the bank chartering system. Both point toward possible paths forward in establishing a public bank. 

Imagine public bank funded energy development.

Imagine the freedom enabled by the prioritization of criteria beyond short-to-midterm profitability.

Last year I visited Stanford University and had a personal account and tour of their $500,000,000 conversion to sustainable energy for the entire campus. It was amazing and will be cost-efficient over time but the environmental impact is the greatest savings of all.

In Arizona the Navajo have the opportunity to re-imagine their energy infrastructure now that the dirty, coal burning Navajo Generating Station is being shut down in Page, AZ.

However, the Navajo are unlikely to have access to the $500,000,000 Stanford was able to allocate to their sustainable conversion.

So, their decision-making processes about energy development are likely to involve criteria beyond their local control.

Public Banking could help center non-profit driven criteria in funding publicly owned, sustainable energy infrastructures.

Public Banking could be made accountable to sustainable communities in their charters, along with other values that reflect stronger foundations and codes of operation for our most influential institutions.


  1. How can anyone care about other countries? Our government jas turned completely against us.

  2. Starting with bush 2,the most evil time in american history.

  3. Exclusive to OpEdNews:
    OpEdNews Op Eds 12/3/2017 at 15:47:20

    The Death Knell of the Government of the United States

    By lila york  

    An oligarchy is an authoritarian form of government. Democratic principles and the rights of individuals as articulated in the Bill of Rights cannot endure under that system. No government has ever survived without acting with the consent of the governed. It results in revolution. always has. always will. As I write this there are revolutions happening in Honduras, Catalonia,Yemen, Libya and Venezuela. Protests fill the streets in every city in France and many inGermany . The people have had enough.

    For a single person to control a billion dollars requires that a billion humans starve to death. That is the equation. American billionaires instruct their lackeys in Congress to cut their taxes - or else. And the corrupt, bribed lackeys do it. And steal the funds to pay for it from the poor and the aged.England is now capitalist - but it still has a huge estate tax. And that tax ensures that the people are not starved and that power - which after all is a function of money - remains with the people.

    The Republican tax bill is the death knell of theUnited States government. It is only a question of time before peaceful protests and carefully written opeds are supplanted by a much more violent response. It was ever so. The oligarchs may retreat to the Caymans or New Zealand or wherever they have set up their safe houses. But that system will be toppled. They have gone too far. They just don't know it yet.


    Lila York is a choreographer and activist. Her website is

  4. Country now completely run by a madman and pack of cold-blooded sadists.


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