In-N-Out

If In-N-Out Can Pay (a Lot) More Than Minimum Wage, Why Can’t McDonald’s?

In-N-Out Burger, a fast food chain in California and the Southwest, starts its employees off at a wage of $10.50 an hour. Labor Secretary Thomas Perez makes a good point. If In-N-Out Burger can do it–remain profitable and still provide what has arguably been deemed a superior product–why can’t McDonald’s?

Obama Pushes $1 Billion Climate Change ‘Resilience Fund’

Speaking against the backdrop of one of the worst droughts in California history, President Barack Obama on Friday announced plans to pitch to Congress a $1 billion climate change resilience fund intended to help communities facing climate change-induced negative weather.

Tallinn, Estonia

The Value of a Free Ride On Public Transit? Not Much, According to New Study

On Jan. 1, 2013, Tallinn, the capital of Estonia, became the first European capital to extend free public transport to all of its 430,000 residents. One of the main drivers was mobility for all, but does it really work? Is making public transportation free actually increasing mobility? While it might take some time to evaluate the economic impact of this change, a new study of three researchers from the Swedish Royal Institute of Technology provides an initial outlook into the changes in ridership following the introduction of free rides.

Lyft Launches Coalition to Bridge Ridesharing Insurance Gaps

In the wake of the tragic New Year’s death of a 6-year-old girl in San Francisco caused by an on-duty Uber driver, along with another recent collision involving a Lyft driver, the public’s attention has turned to the insurance gaps in the fledgling ridesharing industry. To help bridge these gaps, Lyft announced last week a new Peer-to-Peer Rideshare Insurance Coalition, comprised of transportation companies, regulators, insurance providers and other stakeholders that have come together to address how the insurance industry can continue evolving to support the ridesharing economy.

Economy in Scrabble Tiles

Policy Points: Business Policies For a Sustainable Economy

A sustainable economy will depend on policies that will help advance change on a societal level. Here are three important policies that will help–and specific actions you can take.

nissan leaf

Electric Vehicle Performance Found to Slide in Winter

Hybrids don’t do as well in winter for reasons ranging from modified winter gasoline formulations, to increased stationary warm-up time, to increased heater usage, to reduced battery performance in cold weather. A recent report in MIT Technology Review claims that the situation gets even worse when moving from hybrids to all-electrics. But before we snow on the EV parade, let’s ask how serious these cold weather drawbacks actually are.

Cisco AGT

Interview: Cisco and AGT Launch Strategic Partnership on Smart Cities

Cisco has been working in the smart cities space for seven years now — providing services including traffic management, parking assistance, waste management, pollution reduction, virtualized learning, security and health care.

This week they took another major step, announcing a strategic partnership with AGT International — a solutions provider that works specifically in the smart cities space, where they have fielded an impressive array of solutions ranging from law enforcement, to environmental monitoring to citizen services.

Photo Credit: Uber Blog

Who is Liable When Ridesharing Goes Wrong?

Popular ridesharing companies like Uber, Lyft and Sidecar have long-operated in a legal gray zone. While the California Public Utilities Commission’s (CPUC) unanimous approval of new regulations around ridesharing services last September helped to clear some of the ambiguity, scores of questions remain. Chief of these are liability issues — just who is to blame when things go wrong with ridesharing?

wind turbines tax policy

Should the Wind Energy Industry Receive Tax Credits?

The Production Tax Credit (PTC) expired on Dec. 31, and the industry is waiting to see if it will be extended, causing great financial uncertainty. Although the credit was designed to help the wind industry, it has created boom and bust cycles and made planning difficult. Is the PTC an important aspect of tax policy and should it be extended again?

Image credit: Doug88888, Flickr

Tricks of the Trade that Block Climate Change Progress

Last week the Union of Concerned Scientists (UCS) released a new report examining company responses to the CDP (formerly the Carbon Disclosure Project) to see whether companies were replying accurately to the question on whether they were members of groups that might “directly or indirectly influence climate policy.”