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 – Consumer Watchdog responded to news that the FBI had served search warrants on the City Attorney and DWP by saying that it was critical that evidence was being preserved in what is likely a case of conspiracy to defraud the courts and the ratepayers. However, the nonprofit group expressed remorse about how LA leaders handled the crisis it has exposed over the last three and one half years.
In a letter to Governor Newsom, Consumer Watchdog and FracTracker called on the Governor to freeze all new oil and gas well permits until a top-to-bottom ethics review is completed, all conflicted regulators within DOGGR are removed, and the Administration can guarantee regulatory decisions are based on public safety, not pecuniary gain.
Los Angeles, CA – Consumer Watchdog today thanked Governor Gavin Newsom for firing the state’s top oil and gas supervisor and instituting an ethics review of the state’s oil well approval and inspection process in response to its recent report of conflicts at the agency and request.
A review of state conflict of interest forms shows that eight regulators managing the state’s oil and gas well approval and inspection process have hundreds of thousands of dollars invested in the oil companies they regulate.
Los Angeles, CA -- A review of state conflict of interest forms shows that eight regulators managing the state’s oil and gas well approval and inspection process have hundreds of thousands of dollars invested in the oil companies they regulate. One of the regulators is among the top three in command at the State’s Division of Oil, Gas, and Geothermal Resources (DOGGR).
Can Sacramento help wildfire victims get paid without bailing out the investor-owned utilities that claim they cannot pay for all of the wildfires they start?
The debate came to a head today in the California Senate Energy and Utilities Committee, where a parade of skeptics gave tenuous support to a proposal by the Newsom Administration. It tries to make sure shareholders pay for fires utilities start and ratepayers pay for fires where the utilities aren't at fault.
The gas tax kicks in on July 1st in California and is expected to generate $50 billion for repairs to roads and infrastructure. Consumer Watchdog President argues that these repairs should be paid for by the excess profits of oil refiners that have been gouging Californians for decades.
This recycling center, closing June 15th, is the last redemption center west of the 405, serving 200,000 people on LA's Westside.
40% of the recycling centers in the state have closed in recent years due to economic distress and the failure of state regulators and lawmakers to provide adequate funding for redemption centers where consumers return their bottles and cans.
Consumer Watchdog and recycling advocates are calling on the state to provide relief to the recycling centers to help consumers get their 5 cent and 10 cent bottle deposits returned.
Santa Monica, CA --- At the site of the soon-to-be shuttered Santa Monica Community Recycling Center, consumer advocates called on California lawmakers and regulators to rescue the failing redemption industry. The center, closing Saturday, is the last redemption center west of the 405, serving 200,000 people on LA's Westside.