Newsom Administration Doubles New Oil And Gas Production Well Permits, Misses Deadline for Drilling Setback Rule

Los Angeles, CA — California oil regulators more than doubled the dispensing of permits in 2020 to drill new oil and gas production wells, issuing more than 1,700 in 2020, Consumer Watchdog and FracTracker Alliance reported today. 

At the same time, the Newsom Administration failed to meet its own New Year’s Eve deadline for a draft rule designating the safe distance for drilling from a community, giving itself until Spring.  Public interest groups who have pushed for a 2,500-foot setback are troubled by the delay. States such as Colorado have instituted setbacks of 2,000 feet.

Ninth Circuit Reinstates HIV Discrimination Claims Against CVS Prescription Drug Mail-Order Program

Los Angeles, CA -- Today the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals overturned a lower court decision holding that five “John Doe” HIV patients could pursue a discrimination claim against CVS Caremark for requiring HIV and AIDS patients to obtain their medications by mail-order or drop shipment to a CVS store.  

Consumer Bottle Redemption Rate Falls To 58%, Major Overhaul Of Container Recycling Program Inescapable, Says Consumer Watchdog

Los Angeles, CA — Between July and September of 2020, the rate of consumer redemption of empty beverage containers fell another two percentage points to 58%, according to beverage sales data from CalRecycle, the state’s overseer of the bottle deposit program.

That means 42% of annual consumer bottle deposits—or about $546 million paid through September this year—is not being returned to consumers who could really use that money, according to Consumer Watchdog.

On World AIDS Day, an HIV+ Man Sues Doctor and Medical Group for Discrimination After Refusing to Provide Treatment

Los Angeles, CA -- An HIV positive man filed a discrimination lawsuit in federal court to coincide with World AIDS Day against a surgeon and medical group for refusing to treat him because of his HIV status.   

Download the lawsuit here: https://www.consumerwatchdog.org/sites/default/files/2020-11/SmithvPate…

Today is World AIDS Day, an annual event since 1988 to support those living with HIV and to commemorate those who have died from an AIDS-related illness.

CA Permits To Drill New Oil And Gas Production Wells Rose 160%, While New Wells Actually Drilled Plummets To 60;

Los Angeles, CA — Oil companies received 160% more oil production drilling permits in the first nine months of 2020 over the year before, but the number of oil wells drilled in California has slowed to a trickle, Consumer Watchdog and the FracTracker Alliance said today. The two groups updated the permit numbers and locations on an interactive map at the website: http://www.NewsomWellWatch.com.

Consumer Watchdog Hacks A Tesla to Prove Dangers of Wirelessly Connected Cars

Los Angeles, CA – The nonprofit, nonpartisan Consumer  Watchdog today released a video showing how a box it built with the help of technologists could hack into the wireless connection of a Tesla and take over the screen with a “This Tesla’s Been Hacked” message.  

The video can be viewed here: https://youtu.be/RgpmJ6OhPns