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 has asked the Newsom Administration to avert the closure of more recycling centers that redeem empty glass, aluminum, and plastic beverage containers by funding centers long enough to reform the container deposit system.
Los Angeles, CA -- Consumer Watchdog said today that the California Energy Commission under Governor Gavin Newsom is finally taking steps to confront artificially high gasoline prices in California by acknowledging the role of oil refiners' supply and retail price manipulation in sky-high pump prices.
Consumer Watchdog's Liza Tucker explains California's CRV system and the broken in-store deposit system. An audit of California stores showed that 66% are refusing to take back bottle deposits and provide redemption, creating a huge impediment to a successful recycling program. The system of recycling in California needs to be reexamined and manufacturers need to be held accountable for their part in creating waste.
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.
Drivers are experiencing the 'Golden State Gouge' as gas prices soar in California. Consumer Watchdog explains that a small number of refiners control the supply of the whole state and use their ability to manipulate prices to up profits at the expense of Californians.
An audit by Consumer Watchdog shows stores that are supposed to take back recyclable bottles and provide a redemption are not doing so. These stores are impeding consumer access and denying their right to this redemption program.
Consumer Watchdog report shows 66% of grocery stores surveyed refused to recycle. Stores listed by CalRecycle as required to accept bottles and provide bottle deposits refused to do so even when clearly posted signs said they accept recyclables.
Update 4/24/19 5 PM: Senator Stern agreed to amend his legislation to remove more exemptions from recycling for grocery stores in response to the survey.
Los Angeles, CA — Two thirds of fifty Los Angeles-area grocery, convenience and drug stores that are required by the state to refund consumer deposits for empty beverage containers refused to issue refunds, according to a random audit in Los Angeles by Consumer Watchdog.