Holding Big Oil Accountable
For the last decade and a half, Consumer Watchdog has chronicled through a series of reports how California’s oil companies, much like Enron and other energy companies did during the Energy Crisis, have cut back on production to drive up prices at critical moments.
With the passage of California’s Global Warming Solutions Act (AB 32), the stakes have never been higher. In our latest report, Pump Jacking California’s Climate Protection (http://www.consumerwatchdog.org/resources/OilIndustryManipulationReport.pdf), we warned that the states refiners could manipulate production in order to falsely claim that these new regulations were causing price spikes. We urged state officials to vow to investigate any drop-offs in production. Since California is seen as a lab for environmental regulations, the future of climate protection is on the line. Consumer Watchdog will remain vigilant in our task to expose deceit and wrongdoing by the state’s refiners.
These practices are by no means new. Beginning with participation on the California Attorney General's Taskforce on Gas Pricing in the late 1990s, Consumer Watchdog president Jamie Court and petroleum analyst Tim Hamilton began birddogging oil companies over their manipulation of the price of gasoline. Research Director Judy Dugan later joined the team to develop Oil Watchdog, which exposed the hidden hand of oil companies over price and supply manipulation, as well as discuss the path to cleaner/cheaper energy.
In California, OilWatchdog exposed the profit motive of major Texas-based oil refiner Valero when it poured $5 million into a ballot initiative that aimed at stopping California's green energy industries in their tracks. Our report showed the initiative's "Save Jobs" motif was a lie--it was all about keeping gasoline prices high and preventing competition.
Despite what the oil companies and their captive politicians say about the cost of clean energy, OilWatchdog's Cleaner and Cheaper Energy report sketched a path to a transportation future that is practical and affordable, giving technologies from electric cars to hydrogen fuel grades from "A" to "F".
From BP's Gulf of Mexico oil spill to natural gas that's not so safe after all, OilWatchdog looks for the spin, the influence, and the ethical misconduct that keep these companies wallowing in profit. It welcomes courageous whistleblowers. Knowing how corporate influence works is the first step to changing it.
To check out all of our reports on California’s oil industry, you can view a complete list of our reports below:
Golden State Gouge: The Summer of Record Refining Profits
August 5, 2015
Wholesale Gasoline Market Analysis
June 30, 2015
Refining Profits: How Californians Get Fleeced at the Pump
May 5, 2015
Price Spiked: How Oil Refiners Gouge Californians on Their Gasoline
March 24, 2015
Pump Jacking California’s Climate Protection
December 15, 2014
Keystone XL: Oil Industry Cash Machine
July 16, 2013
Valero Energy and Its California Profit Pipeline
October 12, 2010
The Road to Cleaner & Cheaper
May 19, 2009
The Causes and Effects of the Record Breaking Price of Diesel
July 1, 2008
The “Katrina Syndrome”
July 23, 2007
The Changing Relationship Between the Price of Crude Oil and the Price At the Pump
May 3, 2007
1/28/2016News ReleaseSanta Monica, CA -- Valero, California’s fourth largest oil refiner, reported $852 million in profits from oil refining in... More >
1/29/2016News ReleaseSanta Monica, CA -- Chevron's US refining profits soared to their highest ever in 2015, thanks to California drivers who paid... More >
2/2/2016News ReleaseSanta Monica, CA -- Tesoro, the state’s second largest refiner, reported today that 2015 was its best year ever for... More >
2/8/2016News ReleaseConsumer Watchdog Report Finds Oil Refiners Rigged Imports and Exports To Inflate CA Gas Prices In 2015Santa Monica, CA -- Consumer Watchdog delivered a report today to a state panel finding that California’s largest oil... More >
1/17/2016News StoryThe dire warning arrived in a mailer to thousands of state voters from a group called the California Drivers Alliance. "... More >