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 — 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.
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.
Los Angeles, CA — A major reform bill to fix California’s broken bottle deposit system and get consumers back hundreds of millions in unredeemed deposits failed in the California Senate today after the wine and liquor industry joined with the beverage industry to unleash their lobbyists against the proposal. The bill is now on the inactive file after failing on the floor last night with 17 votes in favor.
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.
Los Angeles, CA — The first definitive study showing perinatal harm from oil production in California to pregnant mothers proves that the state must institute a barrier of 2,500 feet between residents and oil wells and stop issuing new oil permits for wells within that zone, Consumer Watchdog said today.
As if California has not had enough bad news, fracking is now back.
The newly-named Cal-GEM or California Geologic Energy Management Division, late Friday and under the cover of the Covid-19 crisis, approved two dozen fracking permits, the first since Governor Newsom froze all fracking in the state last summer.
A bill (SB372) to transform California's Bottle Deposit System did not pass the senate in January 2020. Now, Jamie Court of Consumer Watchdog calls on Governor Gavin Newsom to demand that the beverage industry take responsibility for recycling and redeeming consumer deposits on their containers.
In its report "Trashed," Consumer Watchdog backs the bill, which pulls from the cornerstones of the most successful bottle deposit systems in the US and abroad.
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.
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.
A new bill to overhaul the bottle deposit system has reached the senate. SB372 will place accountability on retailers who sell beverage containers. With the passing of the bill, retailers must accept bottles back and redeem the deposits on them. Consumer Watchdog backs this bill in its new report “Trashed,” which explains how the new bill will pave the way for consumers to get deposits as easily as they buy drinks.
SB372, a bill that would transform California's Bottle Deposit System, reached the Senate on January 15th, 2020. Liza Tucker of Consumer Watchdog explains that California's current recycling model is on the verge of collapse in a new report, "Trashed" and how SB372 pulls from the cornerstones of the most successful bottle deposit systems in the US and abroad.
January 15th, 2020, SB372 reached the senate. The bill will make the beverage industry responsible for recycling and redeeming consumer deposits on their containers. Consumer Watchdog's new report, "Trashed" ranks California's bottle deposit system as the worst in the country.