Cleaner/Cheaper Energy

CA Dangerously Close To Approving 10,000 Oil Drilling Permits since Newsom Assumed Office; Groups Demand Gov. Deliver On Putting Oil Drilling Into Rear View Mirror

Los Angeles, CA — Governor Newsom’s oil regulators have approved 9,728 oil drilling permits since he assumed office in 2019, according to a new analysis of permits approved through October 1, 2021and posted at www.NewsomWellWatch.org by Consumer Watchdog and FracTracker Alliance.  The groups said Newsom should immediately cease approval of more oil permits to avoid hitting the 10,000 mark.

Governor Newsom Must End Oil Permits In State Waters And Order 2,500-Foot Barrier Between Communities And Oil Drilling, Consumer Watchdog And FracTracker Alliance Say

Los Angeles, CA — While an oil spill in federal waters damages Southern California beaches, wildlife and habitat, oil regulators under Gov. Gavin Newsom have issued 138 oil permits for operations in state waters since he assumed office and are 278 days late in delivering Newsom a rule setting a barrier between oil operations and vulnerable communities, Consumer Watchdog and FracTracker Alliance said today.
 

Advocates Say Governor Newsom's $15 Billion Climate Package Fails to Deliver Action on Fossil Fuels

By Dan Backer, ELK GROVE NEWS

September 24, 2021

http://www.elkgrovenews.net/2021/09/advocates-say-governor-newsoms-15.h…

Sacramento, CA -- Against a backdrop of trees at the site of the KNP Complex Fire in Sequoia National Park as wildfires rage across California, Governor Gavin Newsom signed the California Comeback Plan’s $15 billion climate package — the largest of its kind in the country. 

Oil Well Permit Approvals Dropped Dramatically This Year, Group Says

By Andrew Sheeler, CAPITOL ALERT - SACRAMENTO BEE

July 27, 2021

https://www.sacbee.com/news/politics-government/capitol-alert/article25…

Advocacy group Consumer Watchdog reports that permit approvals for new or reworked oil wells dropped by 64% in the first six months of 2021, while the number of permit applications from oil and gas companies fell by 52%.

Consumer Watchdog Applauds Oil Regulator’s Denial Of Aera Fracking Permits

Los Angeles, CA—The denial by the California Geologic Energy Management Division of 21 Aera Energy fracking permits is a win for public health and the environment, Consumer Watchdog said today.

“We applaud the Newsom Administration for finally using its discretion to deny Area destructive and dangerous fracking permits,” consumer advocate Liza Tucker said today. “This step is in concert with Governor Newsom’s goal of banning all fracking by 2024, though we believe that a ban across the board should be immediate.”

FOX TV-40 Sacramento: Facing A Possible Repeat Of 2020, California Power Officials To Meet

Assembly Member Richard Bloom’s Legislation Allows More Grocery Stores To Refuse to Take Back Empty Bottles and Cans During Recycling Crisis; Senior Speaks Out In New Video

Los Angeles, CA — Legislation backed by the waste hauling industry and authored by Santa Monica Assembly Member Richard Bloom would make fewer grocery and other retail stores available to the public to accept empty cans and bottles and redeem California Redemption Value (CRV) deposits of a nickel or dime. 

Why Does West LA's Assembly Member Richard Bloom Not Want Nancy To Have A Place To Recycle?

We Pay CRV, But Where Can We Get Our Money Back?

By Zarina Khairzada, SPECTRUM NEWS 1 LA

June 22, 2021

https://spectrumnews1.com/ca/la-west/news/2021/06/22/crv-costs-turn-int…

LOS ANGELES — Dozens of bags filled with plastic, glass and aluminum beverage containers have been piling up in Nancy Hannickel’s backyard in West Los Angeles.

Hannickel is not happy about it and can’t find somewhere to get the full CRV refund that had been paid for them.

How Much Fracking Is There In California? Newsom, State Regulators Can’t Tell

By Colby Bermel, POLITICO

June 17, 2021

https://www.politico.com/states/california/story/2021/06/17/how-much-fr…

SACRAMENTO — Gov. Gavin Newsom has repeatedly said that fracking accounts for less than 2 percent of California oil production, but he appears to have vastly underestimated its use as the state prepares to ban the technique by 2024.

Bill Assigning Responsibility For Recycling Bottles & Cans To Beverage Industry Passes CA Senate In Major Consumer Victory

Sacramento, CA — SB 38 (D-Wieckowski), a bill to overhaul the state’s bottle deposit program by forcing the beverage industry to create an accessible recycling and redemption system for its bottles and cans, passed the Senate 23 to 8 in a major victory for consumers and the environment, Consumer Watchdog said today.  The bill now heads to the Assembly.

Waste Haulers Are Driving California’s Bottle Deposit System Failure, New Report Reveals, As Lawmakers Consider System Run By Beverage Industry

Los Angeles, CA— A muckraking report on the reasons for the failure of California’s bottle deposit system, which currently has a 57% redemption rate, puts the blame on the waste hauling industry. 
 

Undercover Video Shows West LA Senior Citizen Illegally Refused Bottle and Can CRV Deposit By Grocers Due To “Covid,” Stockpiles Thousands of Cans

Los Angeles, CA — Nancy Hannickel, 75, a long-time resident of West Los Angeles, has bags of thousands of bottles and cans in her yard that carry a California Redemption Value (CRV) of a nickel or a dime.  But she can’t get those nickel and dime deposits refunded—anywhere in West LA.    
 

Consumer Watchdog Applauds Fracking Ban, Calls For More Steps As First Quarter 2021 Oil Permit Approvals Plunge

Los Angeles, CA — Governor Newson’s ban on fracking in 2024 is a step in the right direction, and with the number of permit approvals falling dramatically so far this year, he has a perfect opening to take even stronger steps, Consumer Watchdog said today.

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.

Newsom Aims To Phase Out New Hydraulic Fracking Permits In California By 2024

By Janet Wilson, THE DESERT SUN

September 24, 2020

https://www.desertsun.com/story/news/environment/2020/09/23/newsom-aims…

Gov. Gavin Newsom on Wednesday vowed to work with the state legislature to phase out new permits for hydraulic fracking by 2024, but left untouched a more widely used oil extraction technique in the state that has been linked to hundreds of oil spills.

California Ban On Fracking By 2024 Criticized As Too Late

By Don Thompson, ASSOCIATED PRESS

September 23, 2020

https://apnews.com/article/legislature-climate-hydraulic-fracturing-env…

SACRAMENTO, Calif. (AP) — California Gov. Gavin Newsom moved Wednesday to end issuing new hydraulic fracturing permits by 2024, a delay criticized by many environmental groups but characterized as legally and politically realistic by another.

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

If Cali. Gov. Newsom Wants To Cut Back On Oil And Fracking, Why Are New Drilling Permits Up 190% In Past 6 Months?

As the California Resources Corporation and other oil companies filed for bankruptcy and COVID-19 cases shattered California daily records in the second quarter of 2020, oil regulators under Governor Gavin Newsom also shattered records for dispensing new oil and gas production well drilling permits, Consumer Watchdog and FracTracker Alliance said in a report released today.

By Dan Bacher, RED GREEN & BLUE

September 3, 2020

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.

CalGEM Regulators Divest Oil Stocks In Wake Of Consumer Watchdog Conflicts Probe

 Los Angeles, CA — Oil and gas regulators at the California Geologic Energy Management Division (CalGEM) no longer hold oil stocks or other interests in the sector that they regulate in a radical departure from past practices, Consumer Watchdog said today.

A new conflict of interest policy at the division’s parent agency, the Department of Conservation (DOC), now prohibits such investments without explicit written approval by DOC’s director.

CA Governor Exempts Supermarkets From Bottle Deposit Refunds For Another 60 Days In Loss For Consumers And The Environment, Says Consumer Watchdog

Los Angeles, CA — Governor Gavin Newsom gave supermarkets and other dealers of beverages carrying a five or ten cent deposit another 60-day reprieve on refunding deposits, putting greater pressure on too few redemption centers to serve millions of Californians. California now joins Iowa’s Republican Governor as the only states letting the retailers off the hook for redeeming bottles.

Newsom Cut 128 Oil Regulation Jobs Because the Oil Industry Asked Nicely

Dear Gavin, Your budget sucks, too.

By Nicole Levin, KNOCK-LA

June 13, 2020

https://knock-la.com/gavin-newsom-environmental-budget-cuts-344ab8791856

“Because one thing I know about cuts, there’s a human being behind every single number. Behind every category is a dream that is either deferred, in some case a dream that is denied. I am sober about it, I’m not naive about cuts.” — Gavin Newsom, May 14, 2020

CA Oil Well Permits Under Gov. Newsom Outpace First Quarter Last Year In Loss For Public Health, Consumer Watchdog and FracTracker Alliance Report

Los Angeles, CA—As the Covid-19 pandemic unfolded, new oil well permits under Gov. Gavin Newsom rose 7.8% in the first quarter of 2020 through April 4, compared to the first quarter of 2019, Consumer Watchdog and FrackTrackerAlliance reported today. The Newsom Administration issued 1,623 permits during the first quarter of 2020. It also approved 24 fracking permits after a nine-month moratorium. The total number of permits issued under Newsom since he took office in January 2019 is 6,168.

If You’ve Found It Impossible to Recycle in California, You’re Not the Only One

By Lolita Lopez, KNBC TV-4 Los Angeles, CA

February 19, 2020

https://www.nbclosangeles.com/investigations/recycling-centers-closed-c…

Many Californians are having a tough time recycling bottles and cans and getting back deposits as hundreds of recycling centers shutter throughout the state -- but something else is going on behind the scenes that is making it even worse. 

Here’s how it’s supposed to work: 

Number Of Oil And Gas Well Permits Issued By Newsom Administration In 2019 Rivals Number Issued In Gov. Jerry Brown’s Last Year In Office

Los Angeles, CA—The total number of oil and gas well permits issued in 2019 under the Newsom Administration rivals the number issued in 2018 during the last year in office of former Governor Jerry Brown, Consumer Watchdog and FracTracker Alliance reported today. The Newsom Administration issued just 1% fewer permits for a total of 4,545 versus 4,590 for all of 2018.

Consumer Watchdog Applauds Departure of Another Regulator Who Protected Big Oil As Hopeful Sign Of Major Reform Under Gov. Newsom

Los Angeles, CA - Consumer Watchdog hailed the imminent departure of the Department of Conservation’s Chief Deputy Director, widely seen as an impediment to environmental reform, as a sign that Governor Newsom plans to overhaul the way oil and gas is regulated in the state.

Lawmakers Consider Overhaul To California's Bottle And Can Recycling Program

Advocates say CRV isn't working

By Derek Staahl, KGTV ABC-10 NEWS, SAN DIEGO, CA

January 15, 2020

https://www.10news.com/news/lawmakers-consider-overhaul-to-californias-…

SAN DIEGO (KGTV) -- State lawmakers are considering an overhaul to the CRV recycling program on bottles and cans that would make drink-makers responsible for setting up a system to collect the containers they produce.

PG&E Spent $876,445 On Lobbying From Jan. 1 To June 30 - After Spending Nearly $10 Million In 2018

By Dan Bacher, INDYBAY MEDIA

October 31, 2019

https://www.indybay.org/newsitems/2019/10/31/18827743.php

The Pacific Gas & Electric Company (PG&E), again in the spotlight of the national and international news media because of its shutoffs of electricity to millions of Californians as fires now rage throughout the state, spent $876,445 on lobbying from January 1 to June 30 of his year.

10 Years Of California Blackouts? Gavin Newsom Says This Is ‘Not The New Normal’

By Hannah Wiley and Dale Kasler, SACRAMENTO BEE - CAPITOL ALERT

October 30, 2019

https://www.sacbee.com/news/politics-government/capitol-alert/article23…

As California’s largest utility, Pacific Gas and Electric Company, battled bankruptcy and prepared for another round of mass power outages across the state, the company’s executive said Californians should expect to see fire-preventing blackouts for the next 10 years.

PG&E Will Credit Customers Subject To Oct. 9 Blackouts, But Not Current Ones

By J.D. Morris and Trapper Byrne, SAN FRANCISCO CHRONICLE

October 29, 2019

https://www.sfchronicle.com/california-wildfires/article/PG-E-will-cred…

Bowing to pressure from Gov. Gavin Newsom, Pacific Gas and Electric Co. will provide some form of compensation to people affected by widely criticized mass power outages the utility implemented earlier this month.

Consumer Watchdog Applauds Newsom Call for AG Action on CA Gas Price Gouging

Los Angeles, CA -- Consumer Watchdog said today that a new state report finding that major oil companies are overcharging their own stations in order to gouge California consumers vindicates the analysis that it has made since 2015 and requires new state laws to protect drivers.  

The nonprofit nonpartisan consumer group applauded Governor Newsom’s call for an investigation and possible prosecution by the California Attorney General into the problem.

Fair Political Practices Commission Investigates Two Oil Regulators For Conflict Of Interest After Consumer Watchdog Complaint

 

Los Angeles-- The Fair Political Practices Commission is investigating two regulators at the Division of Oil, Gas, and Geothermal Resources for conflicts of interests raised in a July complaint by Consumer Watchdog.

CA Leg Compromise Gets $10 Million More For Recycling Centers, Small Exemption for Grocers

Sacramento, CA — Amendments to AB 54 (Ting) last night freed $5 million for beleaguered consumer recycling centers, seeming to seal what appears to be a short-term band-aid for recycling center problems until a larger solution is developed next year.  AB 54 already provided $5 million for mobile recycling and a short few months exemption for grocers affected by August recycling center closures that would otherwise have to redeem bottle and can deposits earlier.

Grocers Launch Last-Week-Of-Session Attack on Bottle Deposit Law

Seek Exemption From Recycling Responsibilities As Consumers Turn To Stores For Deposits

Los Angeles, CA -- Consumer Watchdog today condemned eleventh-hour legislation by Senator Steve Glazer, SB 643, that would exempt thousands of grocery stores statewide from the obligation to recycle consumers’ bottles and cans and return their five and ten cent deposits. The bill was amended Saturday to be heard during the last five days of the legislative session.

Consumer Watchdog Urges Governor To Take Urgent Steps On Recycling

Los Angeles, CA — Consumer Watchdog today urged Governor Newsom to crack down on the state’s recycling regulator CalRecycle and to take urgent steps that save the state’s bottle deposit program in the long and short term.

“The closure of the largest recycling chain in the state, rePlanet, has cut the number of recycling centers available to Californians in half over the last six years,” Consumer Watchdog President Jamie Court wrote in a letter to Governor Newsom. “CalRecycle has long known about these problems, but it has failed to act.

California’s Biggest Bottle Redemption Center Chain Closes

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.

Consumer and Recycling Advocates Condemn Loss of Last Recycling Center West of 405 Freeway

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. 

Consumer Watchdog Applauds Governor Newsom’s Energy Commission Report Taking on Gas Price Manipulation

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.  

Consumer and Recycling Advocates Condemn Loss of Last Recycling Center West of 405 Freeway

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. 

Ricardo Lara Puts Brakes On California's Climate Leadership

Los Angeles, CA — On Earth Day, California Insurance Commissioner Ricardo Lara chose “collaboration" with the insurance industry over urgent climate action. Commissioner Lara rejected a petition from 60 environmental, consumer and social justice groups that sought emergency rules to make insurers disclose the fossil fuel projects they insure. The Commissioner's refusal to act allows insurers to keep their complicity in global warming secret and puts the brakes on the forward momentum on climate built by the previous Department of Insurance, said Consumer Watchdog.

Public Interest Groups Seek Nation’s First Rule Mandating Insurance Companies Disclose the Fossil Fuel Projects They Insure

Los Angeles, CA --- More than 60 environmental, consumer and social justice organizations petitioned California Insurance Commissioner Ricardo Lara today seeking first in the nation emergency regulations to require insurance companies to disclose the fossil fuel projects they insure, even as climate change-exacerbated catastrophes are costing insurance companies billions.

Consumer Watchdog Urges Gov. Brown To Halt All CA Offshore Drilling In Response To Trump Move To Open Federal Waters

Santa Monica, CA — Governor Jerry Brown should immediately stop all offshore drilling in state waters in response to President Trump’s decision to vastly expand offshore drilling from the Atlantic to the Arctic, including in federal waters off of California, Consumer Watchdog said today.

Legislature Pulls Brown’s Electric Deregulation Plan Ramrod After Public Backlash

Sacramento, CA – A public backlash against Governor Brown’s eleventh hour attempt to give Western energy barons and Trump officials power over California’s energy and the state’s laws has ended for the year.

Assembly Member Chris Holden has stated his last-minute bills will not go forward after activists and newspaper editorial boards condemned the backroom dealing and ramrod of complex proposals with only days left in the legislative session.