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.
Los Angeles, CA—Since mid-July, state regulators have not issued a new permit for fracking or acidizing in California and have slowed the overall rate of permitting oil wells. Nonetheless, state regulators have granted oil permits at a pace that is 8.8% greater in the first ten months of 2019 than in the same period last year under Governor Jerry Brown, Consumer Watchdog and FracTracker Alliance said today based on an analysis of state data.
California's largest operator of recycling centers is shutting down all 284 of their facilities statewide leaving all of those who depend on them to get their CRV deposits back with nowhere to go. Consumer Watchdog is calling on state legislators to mandate that retailers allow consumers to redeem their bottles and cans in store and remove existing exemptions that provide stores with loopholes to shirk their responsibility.
Los Angeles, CA — Consumer Watchdog said the closure of the largest operator of bottle redemption centers in the state, rePlanet, today requires the Governor to prioritize recycling reform in the coming months. rePlanet closed its last 284 centers today, leaving consumers with few places to receive bottle and can deposit refunds.
Consumer Watchdog called for CALRecycle, the state agency in charge of recycling, to immediately require every grocery and convenience store chain to begin redeeming bottles and cans.
RePlanet which runs the largest chain of recycling centers in California is shutting down. Consumers will have even less options on where to redeem bottles and cans to get their deposits back. The State needs to mandate that retailers accept recyclables and provide redemption as recycling centers are shutting their doors.
The LADWP may owe another $40 million to consumers after overcharging them years. The FBI raided the LADWP and City Attorney's offices last Monday investigating, bribery, kickbacks, extortion and money laundering. Consumer Watchdog President Jamie Court says there is no doubt crimes were committed and that the consumers are owed millions.
Consumer Watchdog says consumers are owed tens of millions after longterm overcharging and a deeply flawed class action settlement involving lawyers with conflicts of interests shortchanged and ignored wronged ratepayers.
Consumer Watchdog President Jamie Court speaks on the recent FBI raid of the LA DWP offices and how consumers are being left behind.
"When City Hall and the City Attorney cannot clean up their own DWP mess, this is what happens, the FBI has to do it. These raids are almost certainly related to what appears to be a fraud on the court and ratepayers in the DWP billing error case that led to tens of millions of dollars of taxpayer money spent on contracts to a company controlled by the city’s outside attorney in the case who has already taken the Fifth Amendment.
The court documents have already proven with witnesses under oath that there was fraud on the ratepayers and the Court, the only question is how high the fraud goes and how much it costs. The FBI warrants will protect evidence and make sure that prosecutors know if the head of the DWP Commission Mel Levine and City Attorney Mike Feuer, both of whom were fingered in depositions on being in on fraud, were in fact aware of the conspiracy to defraud the court and the DWP ratepayers.
These warrants are the result of the Mayor and City Council turning a blind eye to corruption at DWP and in the City Attorney’s office that has been well documented over the last few months in sworn testimony in the Superior Court of Los Angeles."
Los Angeles, CA – Consumer Watchdog responded to news that the FBI had served search warrants on the City Attorney and DWP by saying that it was critical that evidence was being preserved in what is likely a case of conspiracy to defraud the courts and the ratepayers. However, the nonprofit group expressed remorse about how LA leaders handled the crisis it has exposed over the last three and one half years.
In a letter to Governor Newsom, Consumer Watchdog and FracTracker called on the Governor to freeze all new oil and gas well permits until a top-to-bottom ethics review is completed, all conflicted regulators within DOGGR are removed, and the Administration can guarantee regulatory decisions are based on public safety, not pecuniary gain.
“For too long the health of our community has suffered from dirty oil wells at the Inglewood oil field,” said Deborah Weinrauch, a resident of Culver City. “We cannot afford to keep having more drilling and fracking. In order to protect our health we need Governor Newsom to stop issuing new permits.”
Los Angeles, CA – Consumer Watchdog today thanked Governor Gavin Newsom for firing the state’s top oil and gas supervisor and instituting an ethics review of the state’s oil well approval and inspection process in response to its recent report of conflicts at the agency and request.