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.
A review of state conflict of interest forms shows that eight regulators managing the state’s oil and gas well approval and inspection process have hundreds of thousands of dollars invested in the oil companies they regulate.
“Oil regulators should not be invested in the same oil companies that they regulate,” Consumer Watchdog and FracTracker Alliance wrote in a letter to Governor Gavin Newsom, calling for the removal of Gutierrez and other DOGGR officials with conflicts, and an immediate freeze on new well approval. “These conflicts and approvals reveal a biased department where oil well permitting is on automatic pilot. We ask that you immediately remove all the conflicted managers in the agency and begin a top-to-bottom ethics review. During this review, you should freeze all new oil and gas well permits until you can guarantee that decisions are made based on public safety, not pecuniary gain.”
Los Angeles, CA -- A review of state conflict of interest forms shows that eight regulators managing the state’s oil and gas well approval and inspection process have hundreds of thousands of dollars invested in the oil companies they regulate. One of the regulators is among the top three in command at the State’s Division of Oil, Gas, and Geothermal Resources (DOGGR).
Can Sacramento help wildfire victims get paid without bailing out the investor-owned utilities that claim they cannot pay for all of the wildfires they start?
The debate came to a head today in the California Senate Energy and Utilities Committee, where a parade of skeptics gave tenuous support to a proposal by the Newsom Administration. It tries to make sure shareholders pay for fires utilities start and ratepayers pay for fires where the utilities aren't at fault.
The gas tax kicks in on July 1st in California and is expected to generate $50 billion for repairs to roads and infrastructure. Consumer Watchdog President argues that these repairs should be paid for by the excess profits of oil refiners that have been gouging Californians for decades.
This recycling center, closing June 15th, is the last redemption center west of the 405, serving 200,000 people on LA's Westside.
40% of the recycling centers in the state have closed in recent years due to economic distress and the failure of state regulators and lawmakers to provide adequate funding for redemption centers where consumers return their bottles and cans.
Consumer Watchdog and recycling advocates are calling on the state to provide relief to the recycling centers to help consumers get their 5 cent and 10 cent bottle deposits returned.
Santa Monica, CA --- At the site of the soon-to-be shuttered Santa Monica Community Recycling Center, consumer advocates called on California lawmakers and regulators to rescue the failing redemption industry. The center, closing Saturday, is the last redemption center west of the 405, serving 200,000 people on LA's Westside.
Los Angeles, CA—Consumer Watchdog has asked the Newsom Administration to avert the closure of more recycling centers that redeem empty glass, aluminum, and plastic beverage containers by funding centers long enough to reform the container deposit system.
Los Angeles, CA -- Consumer Watchdog said today that the California Energy Commission under Governor Gavin Newsom is finally taking steps to confront artificially high gasoline prices in California by acknowledging the role of oil refiners' supply and retail price manipulation in sky-high pump prices.