Energy & Environment

Energy

Consumer Watchdog monitors California’s gas, electric, and oil companies, including municipal and investor-owned utilities, to protect ratepayers, consumers and the environment.   We police the recycling industry to make sure consumers get their bottle deposits back, recycling is deposed of appropriately, and programs are effective.

Our nonprofit worked decades ago to fight and rollback California’s electric deregulation debacle, including stopping a ratepayer bailout in the legislature and getting ratepayers’ money back. We fight today to prevent Californians from being duped again by similar utility and energy industry scams. 

In recent years, Consumer Watchdog established the PUC Papers to document the players and their roles in the corruption scandal that has plagued California’s Public Utilities Commission, or PUC. The searchable database of more than 100,000 documents is a public resource for researchers, journalists and activists.

Consumer Watchdog has also fought price gouging by oil companies with extensive research and reporting on their price and supply manipulations. We have policed the California’s regulator of toxics and toxics industry, creating change in oversight and spurring cleanup of toxic sites. This includes a pending legal case against Boeing for cleanup of the Santa Susana nuclear waste site outside Los Angeles.

 


Focus Areas:

Redemption Rate For Empty Bottles And Cans Sinks To 60% As Consumers Forfeit $60 Million in Deposits Refunds

Los Angeles, CA—State data show that California consumers left $60 million in unredeemed bottle and can deposits with the state in the first six months of 2020 as the redemption rate for consumers plunged to 60.2% from 66% in the face of the pandemic and a deepening economic crisis for redemption centers.

Data published by the state recycling regulator, CalRecycle, show:

Newsom Administration Issues Six More Fracking Permits To Aera Energy Consumer Watchdog Says

Los Angeles, CA — The Newsom Administration issued six more fracking permits to Aera Energy late on Friday afternoon at a time of great risk to the environment and to the public health of affected communities also exposed to Covid 19, Consumer Watchdog said today.

The number of fracking permits issued this year—despite a nine-month moratorium imposed by Newsom that ended last April—now comes to 54 issued to Aera and Chevron. 

Two Advocacy Groups Challenge California Oil Regulator To Correct The Record On True Oil Drilling Permit Numbers

Los Angeles, CA — Consumer Watchdog and the FracTracker Alliance challenged the state’s Oil and Gas Supervisor Uduak-Joe Ntuk “to be honest with the public about the data” on oil drilling in the state. They stated his refusal to acknowledge data published by the Department of Conservation’s Geologic Energy Management Division (CalGEM) “sullies CalGEM and reflects poorly on an Administration that claims desperately to want to stem the cruel tide of climate change.”

KGO ABC TV-7 SF, CA: Climate Advocates Challenge Gov. Newsom's Record On Standing Up To Fossil Fuel Industry

Permits To Drill New Oil And Gas Wells Zoom Up 190% In The First Six Months Of 2020 Under Gov. Newsom Worrisome Trend

Los Angeles, CA — As COVID-19 cases shattered California daily records in the second quarter of 2020, oil regulators under Gov. Newsom also shattered records for dispensing new oil and gas production well drilling permits, Consumer Watchdog and FracTracker Alliance said today.

Consumer Watchdog Urges Legislative Leaders To Reject Last Minute Raid By Waste Haulers On Consumer Bottle Deposit Funds

Los Angeles, CA — Consumer Watchdog urged Senate President Pro Tempore Toni Atkins and Assembly Speaker Anthony Rendon to shut down a last-minute attempt by waste haulers, grocers and recyclers to steal consumers’ bottle deposit refunds and make the system less available to them, the group said.

Consumer Watchdog Warns Newsom Continued Emergency Exemption Of Retailers From Recycling Will Eviscerate Bottle Deposit System

Los Angeles, CA— The nonprofit Consumer Watchdog called on Governor Gavin Newsom not to give retailers another exemption from their duty to refund bottle and can deposits, warning it could decimate the fragile deposit system.