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2 Years After A Gas Leak Filled The Air Over Porter Ranch, What's Next For Aliso Canyon?

Perhaps some day, every well up in Aliso Canyon will sit empty and dry, with no trace— not one molecule— of natural gas left in the hills above Porter Ranch.

But a shadow of doubt and worry would likely still linger among the residents who live below.

Op-Ed Commentary: Failure To Adequately Regulate Utilities Helped Fuel Wildfires

Corruption can kill.

The fires that laid waste to California’s Wine Country and at least 42 lives were not merely the product of a changing climate and extra-heated winds.

Early reports suggest the failure of Gov. Jerry Brown and his appointees to adequately regulate our public utilities to prevent such fires also fueled the fast-moving flames.

Power Lines And Electrical Equipment Are A Leading Cause Of California Wildfires

The deadliest wildfires in state history have raised questions about whether a repeat culprit might again be to blame for starting or spreading at least some of the Northern California blazes: utility companies and their equipment.

The explosive failure of power lines and other electrical equipment has regularly ranked among the top three singular sources of California wildfires for the last several years. In 2015, the last year of reported data, electrical power problems sparked the burning of 149,241 acres -- more than twice the amount from any other cause.

“OK, Google. Send a Letter to the CPSC.”: Privacy Groups Request Recall of Google Home Mini

Last Friday, ten consumer and privacy advocacy groups, including the Electronic Privacy Information Center, Center for Digital Democracy, and Consumer Watchdog, sent a letter to Acting Chairman Ann Marie Buerkle, requesting that the CPSC recall the Google Home Mini smart speaker. The speaker was designed to respond to the voice commands, “OK, Google” and “Hey, Google,” as well as to a consumer pressing a small button on the top of the unit.

Medical, Consumer Advocacy Groups Against Trump Executive Order

Consumer Watchdog says "junk" health plans could leave patients on the hook for unlimited medical bills.

When President Trump on Thursday signed an executive order encouraging expanded access to association health plans and short-term, limited-duration plans, medical and consumer advocacy groups issued a flurry of reactions to the move -- most of them negative.

Perhaps the sharpest rebuke came from Consumer Watchdog, which predicted the executive order could turn back the clock to days when patients faced unlimited medical bills, even when they played by the rules.

Activists Question Sen. Kamala Harris’s Silence on Sex-Trafficking Bill, Despite Previous Crusade Against Backpage.com

Despite Sen. Kamala Harris's crusade against outlets that allow advertisements for underage trafficking, the California Democrat has resisted publicly commenting or signing onto bipartisan legislation that would allow families of victims and states to sue Backpage.com and other websites.

Not Dreamin’: California Paves Way for Driverless Cars in 2018

California has inched one step closer to permitting the testing of fully driverless vehicles on its public roads, a development that could come as soon as 2018. Officials with the state’s Department of Motor Vehicles have unveiled long-awaited revisions of proposed regulations that pave the way for further testing and deployment of autonomous vehicles in the state, including those that no longer have human drivers.

Totally Driverless Cars Could Be Allowed On California Roads By June 2018

Driverless cars — with nobody behind the wheel — could be on California roads and highways by June 2018.That doesn’t mean you’ll be able to buy a completely driverless car next year, or even hail a ride in one. The technology is still being developed. The driverless cars that may begin appearing next year will be test vehicles. They’ll be allowed to pick up passengers, but only if the passengers don’t have to pay.

Consumer Group Blasts Brown Over Newhall Ranch Project

The organization Consumer Watchdog has issued a statement asking if Gov. Jerry Brown should sign a bill that would benefit the Newhall Ranch project in Santa Clarita since Brown’s sister sits on the development company’s board.

The legislation in question is Senate Bill 634, which would consolidate several water districts in the Santa Clarita Valley. According to Consumer Watchdog, the bill would ensure that Five Point Holdings’ Newhall Ranch project would have “plentiful access to water in a thirsty desert.”

Why Hasn’t Kamala Harris Signed On To Anti-Sex Trafficking Legislation In The Senate?

Washington -- California Sen. Kamala Harris’s name came up multiple times at a Senate hearing last month on child sex trafficking legislation, an acknowledgement of her long record fighting the crime.

But Harris’ name does not appear – at least not yet – as a co-sponsor of the trafficking legislation in question, which targets Backpage.com, a web site for classified ads that Harris once labeled “an online brothel.” Activists blame the rise of internet advertising and Backpage, specifically, for an 846 percent spike in reports of suspected sex trafficking since 2010.