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Energy

Energy

Consumer Watchdog monitors California’s gas, electric, and oil companies, including municipal and investor-owned utilities, to protect ratepayers, consumers and the environment.  

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. Most recently, Consumer Watchdog is opposing a return to deregulation era markets through Governor Brown’s proposal for a Western grid, which would let Trump appointees invalidate California laws and agreements.

In recent year, 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:

Consumer Advocate: DWP Is Rife With Conflicts Of Interest

A consumer advocate says it’s time to shed some light on the Los Angeles Department of Water and Power’s screwy spending priorities.  DWP customers have borne the brunt of under investment in infrastructure, what with two recent power outages in the middle of a heat wave.  Consumer Watchdog President Jaime Court says there’s self-dealing by the powers that be.

”I don’t think they’re criminal. I do think there are a lot of very, very smelly situations that involve the taking of rate payer and tax payer money and the infrastructure of the city falling apart.”

Jerry Brown Announces Global Climate Action Summit As He Promotes Fracking, Delta Tunnels

The New York Times didn’t mention that “America's de facto leader on climate change” received $9.8 million from oil, gas and utilities, often within days of winning big favors, since he ran for Governor, according to a report released by the the Santa Monica-based Consumer Watchdog last August: http://www.consumerwatchdog.org/dirtyhands

Advocates: Exide Cleanup Plan Leaves Many To 'Fend For Ourselves'

Click here to listen to the audio of this radio broadcast segment.

Consumer advocates and community activists say the state Department of Toxic Substances Control's long-awaited plan to remove lead from more than 2,000 properties around the former Exide battery recycling plant doesn't do enough to protect residents from lead exposure.

Op-Ed: Brown’s Beijing Fling With Contributors

While in Beijing, Gov. Jerry Brown publicly promoted the fight against climate change. Just as important was the quiet attendance of AES, a major builder of fossil-fuel power plants in California.

Was the governor making plans to cut greenhouse-gas emissions, or was he making deals to build more climate-warming natural gas plants? Unfortunately, California’s transparency laws don’t ensure the disclosure of such backroom conversations.

DWP's Plum Deal With L.A. Raises Doubts

Critics question if union's concession on nonprofits warrants City Hall's granting of $56 million in raises.

For nearly two decades, ratepayers of the Los Angeles Department of Water and Power have pumped nearly $4 million a year into a pair of nonprofits created to improve employee training and safety at the city-owned utility.

The nonprofits paid top utility managers and union leaders six-figure salaries and provided plush expense accounts but never demonstrated they had much impact on either training or safety.

California’s Double-Edged “Climate Leadership”: Behind The Big Talk, A Cozy Relationship With Big Oil

When President Donald Trump announced that the United States would withdraw from the Paris climate agreement, California elected officials were immediate leaders in the reaction, promising to forge ahead regardless of what Trump might do. They were building on an existing infrastructure of 175 subnational entities committed to fighting climate change, the Under2 Coalition, which California helped initiate.