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.
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.”
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
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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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.