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Labor & Economy

Privatizing Climate Change




We already know that reckless outsourcing has negative impacts on the local community. But did you know it can also contribute to climate change? In a new op-ed I just published in Next City, Roosevelt University Professor Stephanie Farmer and I explore how poorly structured public-private partnership (P3) deals threaten long-term environmental sustainability.

To do it, we return to an old standby: Chicago’s parking meter debacle. Plans to build rapid bus lines and bike lanes have been put on hold in the Windy City because these projects would “compete” with the Morgan Stanley-backed corporate consortium that now runs the city’s 36,000 parking meters. And like so many other long-term outsourcing contracts, competition is a big no-no.

Chicago taxpayers would have to reimburse the consortium for lost revenue if they build projects that reduce traffic and carbon emissions – like bike lanes and bus rapid transit lines. In other words, tomorrow’s environmental sustainability has taken a backseat to today’s corporate profits.

Read more about the details of the parking meter contract and its effects on the environment here, and please be sure to share.

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