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Blog Post
4/10/2013
Posted by Liza Tucker
On Friday, federal accident investigators told California legislators that the state’s patchwork of oil industry regulations needs a serious overhaul. The Chevron fire that produced a toxic cloud and sent 15,000 people to the hospital could have been prevented, but the system was reactive and not designed to foresee and forestall problems,...
News Release
3/18/2013
Posted by Liza Tucker
SANTA MONICA, CA – Consumer Watchdog today called for Governor Brown to conduct his own investigation into allegations of financial conflict of interest at the Department of Toxic Substances Control (DTSC) and to put two officials at the department on administrative leave immediately. Consumer Watchdog first raised the allegations in a...
Blog Post
2/24/2013
Posted by Judy Dugan
The power of the petroleum industry in California may be unparalleled in the states. Its lobbying machine is  stupendously successful.  For instance, California remains the only significant oil producer that does not tax oil extracted in the state. It has very weak--perhaps the weakest--regulation of oil and gas extraction, particularly...
News Story
2/23/2013
Posted by Mark Reback
State lawmaker Rubio had led a push for business-friendly environmental rules. SACRAMENTO, CA -- State Sen. Michael J. Rubio, who was leading the Legislature's effort to make California's environmental laws more business-friendly, abruptly resigned from office Friday to accept a government-affairs job with Chevron Corp. Rubio, a Democrat...
Blog Post
1/31/2013
Posted by Judy Dugan
The news reports were on the gee-whiz side this week as state job safety regulators announced nearly $1 million in fines--the largest ever!-- against Chevron for its refinery blaze last August.  But "largest ever" only means that the levy hit the state's $1 million cap on such fines. For Chevron, whose yearly profits are...
News Story
1/13/2013
Posted by Mark Reback
Require More Inventory At Oil Refineries, Watchdog Says Jamie Court has what he says is a simple way to prevent the gasoline price spikes that have cursed California drivers for years: Require refineries to keep at least three weeks' worth of gas in stock at all times. If a refinery breaks down, the market will still have plenty of fuel....
Blog Post
12/13/2012
Posted by Liza Tucker
Who would want two companies, Tesoro and Chevron, to control more than half of California's gasoline market? Only people, like oil company executives, who think paying five dollars a gallon should be the new normal. That could happen, though, if a deal goes through for Tesoro to buy BP's refinery in Carson and its low-cost Arco brand. In...
News Story
11/29/2012
Posted by Daniel Palay
Anyone who thought manipulation of California energy prices ended with the criminal penalties assessed against executives of companies like Enron and Williams Energy after the state's 2000-2001 electricity crunch turns out to have been hopelessly naive. All the available evidence now suggests price-fixing continues not only in electric power,...
Blog Post
11/27/2012
Posted by Liza Tucker
Today, senators from California, Washington and Oregon joined our call to investigate refineries, asking the Department of Justice to comb through California refineries one by one to see whether market manipulation or false reporting by oil refineries had something to do with record $5 dollar a gallon prices at some California gas stations last...
Blog Post
11/1/2012
Posted by Liza Tucker
If there’s one industry that has free rein in California, it’s the refinery business.  California doesn’t regulate supplies of gasoline, so refineries here only keep around ten days on hand, instead of the more than three week supply most refineries do in other states. We’ve only got 14 refineries here making gasoline...