Consumer Watchdog investigates and reports on industries, corporations and politicians that defy our ethical customs, social mores and rules of law. Our in-depth reports below span decades and take on the most powerful politicians and industries in America.
Health insurance premiums are increasing at a rate faster than medical inflation, especially in the volatile individual and small group markets, and worker incomes have not kept pace. The passage of the federal reform law triggered further outsized increases by insurance companies apparently seeking to establish high base rates in advance of the law’s implementation.
California produces more than four billion pounds of hazardous waste every year. at’s enough to ll 727 Olympic-sized pools. At least one hundred thousand business- es—from aerospace, computer, and chemical companies, to metal shredders, gas sta- tions, plating companies, and dry cleaners—contribute to this toxic stream. It has to go somewhere.
Google has been a prominent beneficiary of the national home loan and foreclosure crisis of the past two years. The giant search engine company has profited by accepting deceptive advertising from fraudulent operators who falsely promise unwary consumers that they can solve their mortgage and credit problems.
A review of profit, shareholder and government reports from the last decade show that Valero reaped extraordinary profits from its refining operations in the Golden State, while drivers emptied their wallets to fund this refiner bonanza.
Change is no simple matter in American politics-a fact that Americans have recently learned well. Elections rarely produce the change they promise. After the vote, power vacuums fill with familiar values, if not faces. Promises give way to fiscal realities, hope succumbs to pragmatism, and ambition concedes to inertia.
Google has been muscling into new web markets and greatly expanding its dominance of other web commerce sectors since 2007, when the web search giant adopted a controversial new business practice aimed at steering Internet searchers to its own services.
This handbook offers solutions for the most visible and perva- sive sector of the current oil/environmental crisis: transportation by automobile. Americans travel more than 3.5 trillion vehicle miles per year1 (not even including occa- sional long-distance drives). They face often-staggering gasoline costs and emit millions of tons of pollutants.
Diesel fuel is the engine of American commerce and public life. Oil companies, by manipulat- ing supply, put sugar in the tank of a whole economy this spring. The companies and their refiners produced less diesel, imported less diesel and exported far more diesel than in previous years. This shortage was abetted by a careless and deliberate lack of oversight by government.