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News Release
7/30/2015
Cody Rosenfield & Liza Tucker
Santa Monica, CA – Valero reported $294 million in second quarter California profits, more than ten times higher than the same quarter last year when the Texas refiner made $24 million. The most staggering increase came in per barrel profits. Last year the company made just 99 cents per barrel in California. This year that number reached $11.23 per barrel. “Californians know they are...
Blog Post
7/29/2015
By John M. Simpson
Promoters of self-driving vehicles tout the supposed benefits the robot cars will bring such as improved road safety if all the technological challenges are solved.  They appear to assume adoption will be widespread once the robot technology is perfected. There is a long way to go. Google’s self-driving cars, now being tested on public roads in California and Texas can’t cope...
News Release
7/28/2015
Carmen Balber & Eddie Barrera
Santa Monica, CA – Kentucky’s dramatic decline in prescription drug abuse and doctor shopping after a 2012 law required providers to check a state database before prescribing powerful and addictive medications is yet more evidence that Californians need the same protections, Consumer Watchdog said today. Since Kentucky’s prescription drug abuse legislation took effect, the...
Blog Post
7/29/2015
By John M. Simpson
Promoters of self-driving vehicles tout the supposed benefits the robot cars will bring such as improved road safety if all the technological challenges are solved.  They appear to assume adoption will be widespread once the robot technology is perfected. There is a long way to go. Google’s self-driving cars, now being tested on public roads in California and Texas can’t cope...
Blog Post
6/17/2015
By John M. Simpson
The Federal Communications Commission looks like it means business when it comes to enforcing open Internet rules.  It just slapped AT&T with a whopping $100 million fine, one of the largest ever, for improperly slowing, or “throttling” Internet speeds for people who purchased what the company had described  as “unlimited” data plans. The FCC’s new open...
Blog Post
6/15/2015
By John M. Simpson
Consumer Watchdog has joined eight other privacy advocates and quit the so-called “multi-stakeholder process” being run by the Commerce Department’s National Telecommunications Administration to develop a code of conduct for companies using facial recognition technology. Frankly, the the process was doomed from the start. Companies had no incentive develop a code with any...
News Release
7/30/2015
Cody Rosenfield & Liza Tucker
Santa Monica, CA – Valero reported $294 million in second quarter California profits, more than ten times higher than the same quarter last year when the Texas refiner made $24 million. The most staggering increase came in per barrel profits. Last year the company made just 99 cents per barrel in California. This year that number reached $11.23 per barrel. “Californians know they are...
News Release
7/28/2015
Carmen Balber & Eddie Barrera
Santa Monica, CA – Kentucky’s dramatic decline in prescription drug abuse and doctor shopping after a 2012 law required providers to check a state database before prescribing powerful and addictive medications is yet more evidence that Californians need the same protections, Consumer Watchdog said today. Since Kentucky’s prescription drug abuse legislation took effect, the...
News Release
7/27/2015
John M. Simpson
SANTA MONICA, CA -- The U.S. public interest group Consumer Watchdog today wrote European Competition Commissioner Margrethe Vestager asking the Commission to investigate tactics reportedly used by Apple to drive out “freemium” (commercial sponsored) streaming music and unfairly dominate the streaming music business. “Based on information received by our nonprofit nonpartisan...
Legal Update
6/16/2014
By Jerry Flanagan
Over the weekend, one of our federal employee "John Doe" clients received a nice surprise from his health insurer: the Blue Cross Blue Shield Association ("BCBS") will no longer charge higher (discriminatory) co-pays for HIV drugs and has taken HIV drugs off its mandatory mail-order drug list, which threatened patient health, safety, and privacy. Read the letter from BCBS here...
Legal Update
3/6/2014
By Laura Antonini
Attorneys at Consumer Watchdog and a group of law firms representing owners of Hyundai and Kia vehicles whose fuel economy (miles per gallon) was misrepresented by Hyundai and Kia say the terms of a proposed settlement between the vehicle manufacturers and two other plaintiffs’ law firms should be improved, according to a lengthy analysis prepared by the Consumer Watchdog team. The analysis...
Legal Update
3/6/2014
By Laura Antonini
On March 19, 2014, the California Court of Appeal will hold a hearing on DIRECTV’s attempt to force its customers who were wrongly charged early cancellation penalties to bring claims individually before private arbitrators rather than proceed in court as a class action. The class action lawsuit, brought by Consumer Watchdog’s attorneys on behalf of DIRECTV customers, claims that...
Video
7/27/2015
Consumers should review new health insurance policies closely for “hidden premiums,” including narrow provider networks, high deductibles and climbing cost-sharing that can result in major unexpected medical bills, Consumer Watchdog said today. Health insurance rates released by Covered California today increased an average 4 percent for 2016, similar to projected rate increases...
Video
7/22/2015
Newly posted data from California oil refiners shows that record price spikes at the pump have translated to a record high return to the oil companies of $1.17 per gallon in May of 2015. The average amount that a refiner receives for a gallon of gasoline has been just 46 cents since 1999, according to the California Energy Commission (CEC), but recently updated data on the CEC website shows that...
Video
7/22/2015
Consumer Watchdog, a nonprofit consumer advocacy organization, says oil refineries are pocketing more money than ever in California history because of the recent spike in gas prices. On average, Los Angeles County drivers are currently paying $4.25 per gallon for regular gas, $1.50 more than the nationwide average. The Santa Monica-based group is now calling to change the way oil companies do...

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