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Fighting the Power Companies

Blog Post
9/23/2008
Posted by Consumer Watchdog
This is a cautionary tale as bailout fever takes hold. On January 18, 2001, as electricity deregulation sunk California into its second consecutive day of rolling blackouts, a team of analysts at Credit Suisse First Boston in New York sent around a startling memo to its clients.  Let's start at the end: the rolling blackouts in California...
News Story
9/11/2008
Posted by Consumer Watchdog
It's never hard to find self-serving propositions on the California ballot. But there has never been anything quite like this fall's Proposition 10, even in a state that has seen the tobacco industry run initiatives aiming to kill municipal restrictions on smoking and watched power companies put hundreds of millions of dollars behind measures they...
News Story
7/27/2008
Posted by Consumer Watchdog
When California's reform-minded Gov. Hiram Johnson launched the referendum process in 1911, his idea was to give common citizens more of a voice in setting state policy. If citizens couldn't afford to hire lobbyists in Sacramento, at least they could band together in petition drives to put their proposals onto the ballot. Or so the argument went....
News Story
7/17/2008
Posted by Consumer Watchdog
WOLF BLITZER, CNN ANCHOR:  To our viewers, you're in THE SITUATION ROOM. You may have noticed the cost of electricity is rising along with seemingly everything else. Some experts are now warning the time may soon come when you won't be able to get electricity, at least temporarily, at any price. Wow. Let's bring in Carol Costello. She is...
News Story
3/6/2008
Posted by Consumer Watchdog
Companies, Governments Accused of Exaggerating Eco-friendliness As interest in green issues reaches a white-hot pitch, government and industry are jumping on the sustainability bandwagon, touting "natural," "biodegradable" and "environmentally friendly" practices and products. Often, the claims are true. But sometimes...
News Release
1/31/2008
Posted by Consumer Watchdog
Yearly Profits of Oil Industry Will Nearly Equal Treasury Cost of Federal Economic Stimulus Package Santa Monica, CA -- The record run of 2007 oil profits, which came as the U.S. economy slid into recession and consumer debt soared, portrays an industry run amok, said the Foundation for Taxpayer and Consumer Rights. Shell, world's second-largest...
News Story
1/25/2008
Posted by Consumer Watchdog
Mary Nielsen was angry. Not only had Pacific Gas & Electric overcharged the then-87-year-old Oakland resident $800, but in examining the bill, she also found hidden charges on the back. One month later, in October 2004, Nielsen got PG&E to refund her money. One year later, after she dispatched phone calls and letters to PG&E, the...
News Story
1/8/2008
Posted by Consumer Watchdog
Private vs. public energy at center of discussion When gusts from a massive storm knocked out power across much of the north state, two power agencies had their lights on faster than anyone else. Redding Electric Utility and Trinity Public Utility District in Weaverville both had power restored on the day of the storm, while privately owned power...
Blog Post
6/7/2006
Posted by Consumer Watchdog
The gov launches a tour of the state today -- in a green bus wrapped with snow-capped California mountain vistas -- hoping to persuade California voters he is a green machine. But a spiffy new green and white website and lots of green bunting are not enough to greenwash Arnold. His record speaks for itself. Arnold: * Was the celebrity spokesman...
Blog Post
5/19/2006
Posted by Consumer Watchdog
California's attorney general is subpoenaing oil executives over the high price of gasoline. Arnold Schwarzenegger is headed to the land of big oil, hat in hand, for a Houston fundraiser Monday featuring juicy checks and big steaks. California has consistently paid 50 cents more for gasoline than the rest of the US, but Schwarzenegger's not going...