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Energy & Environment

Energy

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 year, Consumer Watchdog established the PUC Papers 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:

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.

Governor Jerry Brown Betrays Californians with Massive Giveaway to Oil Industry in Proposed Extension of Cap-and-Trade

Sacramento, CA — Consumer Watchdog and Food & Water Watch oppose Assembly Bill 398, brokered by Governor Jerry Brown to extend California’s cap-and-trade program past 2020, as a massive giveaway of billions of dollars to the oil and gas industry that fails to rein in one of the largest sources of greenhouse gas emissions in California. The organizations are calling on state legislators to defeat the bill, which could be called for a vote on Thursday.

Consumer Watchdog Calls Location of Governor Brown’s Climate Action Summit Misguided

Santa Monica, CA—As Governor Brown challenges the Trump administration today on climate change by issuing a sweeping invitation to a global “climate action” summit in San Francisco, Consumer Watchdog is challenging the Governor to hold the summit in Northern California’s Richmond or in Southern California cities like Wilmington or Torrance—home to emissions-spewing refineries.

Fossil Fuel Electric Plant Developers Fund Brown’s Beijing Fling

Santa Monica, CA — Consumer Watchdog today called on the Public Utilities Commission to require disclosure of any communications about new, unnecessary natural gas-fired power plants in Southern California made during Governor Jerry Brown’s recent trip to Beijing to tout clean energy. The trip, during which energy company executives had intimate access to the governor and energy regulators, shows the need for greater transparency around power plant decision-making.

Jerry Brown Not So Green: CA Ratepayers Overpaid Billions For Dirty Energy

Californians are paying billions of dollars too much for electric plants we don’t need. That’s the finding of a major Los Angeles Times investigation and a new Consumer Watchdog report explains why.

Governor Brown has embraced the building of fossil fuel generated electricity, along with the reopening of Aliso Canyon’s gas reserve, even while Californians have a glut of electric capacity.

Note To Prez: Keystone XL Will Raise Gas Prices, Not Create US Jobs

The populist president just revived what will be a bad economic deal for Midwest gas prices and American jobs, the Keystone XL pipeline.

My nonprofit group Consumer Watchdog studied the issue in 2013 and found that the Keystone XL extension was a way to move Canadian crude to Asia through the gulf coast, which would re-route cheap crude that now feeds Midwest refineries. The likely result: higher Midwest gasoline prices.