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.
California's largest operator of recycling centers is shutting down all 284 of their facilities statewide leaving all of those who depend on them to get their CRV deposits back with nowhere to go. Consumer Watchdog is calling on state legislators to mandate that retailers allow consumers to redeem their bottles and cans in store and remove existing exemptions that provide stores with loopholes to shirk their responsibility.
Los Angeles, CA — Consumer Watchdog said the closure of the largest operator of bottle redemption centers in the state, rePlanet, today requires the Governor to prioritize recycling reform in the coming months. rePlanet closed its last 284 centers today, leaving consumers with few places to receive bottle and can deposit refunds.
Consumer Watchdog called for CALRecycle, the state agency in charge of recycling, to immediately require every grocery and convenience store chain to begin redeeming bottles and cans.
RePlanet which runs the largest chain of recycling centers in California is shutting down. Consumers will have even less options on where to redeem bottles and cans to get their deposits back. The State needs to mandate that retailers accept recyclables and provide redemption as recycling centers are shutting their doors.
The LADWP may owe another $40 million to consumers after overcharging them years. The FBI raided the LADWP and City Attorney's offices last Monday investigating, bribery, kickbacks, extortion and money laundering. Consumer Watchdog President Jamie Court says there is no doubt crimes were committed and that the consumers are owed millions.
Consumer Watchdog says consumers are owed tens of millions after longterm overcharging and a deeply flawed class action settlement involving lawyers with conflicts of interests shortchanged and ignored wronged ratepayers.
Consumer Watchdog President Jamie Court speaks on the recent FBI raid of the LA DWP offices and how consumers are being left behind.
"When City Hall and the City Attorney cannot clean up their own DWP mess, this is what happens, the FBI has to do it. These raids are almost certainly related to what appears to be a fraud on the court and ratepayers in the DWP billing error case that led to tens of millions of dollars of taxpayer money spent on contracts to a company controlled by the city’s outside attorney in the case who has already taken the Fifth Amendment.