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.
Sacramento, CA -- In a letter to the 120 members of the California legislature, Consumer Watchdog president Jamie Court warned that a bailout of California's three investor owned utilities for causing wildfires would "almost certainly be the greatest disgrace for this legislature since its decision two decades ago to deregulate electricity and turn over our energy supply to the Enron pirates."
"The integrity, duty and reputation of this legislature should outweigh the largess these three utilities have showered upon the members of its houses," Court said.
Five months before Governor’s climate summit in San Francisco, climate groups call on Governor to “walk the talk” on climate and stand up to the oil and gas industry
Santa Monica, CA — Instead of pushing the country’s largest municipal utility to be leaner, greener, and meaner, Fred Pickel, the first ratepayer advocate ever appointed to protect the interests of LADWP ratepayers, has fallen down on the job. A new report, “The Price of Pickel” by Consumer Watchdog, finds that his failure to speak up for ratepayers against unreasonable rate hikes and bad projects is costing ratepayers nearly $7 billion.
For the report, click here.
New analysis released today by the Stockholm Environment Institute finds that limiting oil production in California would lead to substantial greenhouse gas emission cuts at a cost comparable to other state climate policies. The analysis shows that addressing oil production in California -- something Governor Brown has thus far resisted -- will have critical climate, health, and global leadership benefits.
Santa Monica, CA—Consumer Watchdog urged Governor Jerry Brown to direct state oil regulators to publicly post all oil well leaks in the state after learning that the state is tracking all spills from wells of oil, drilling fluids, and toxic water but not disclosing them.
A Superior Court Judge today approved a settlement of a class action lawsuit brought against the Department of Water & Power (DWP) and City of Los Angeles for illegally taxing ratepayers billions of dollars on their power bills and using it for city services, rejecting our objection. Under 2010’s voter-approved Prop 26, money raised from power rates that is not used to improve utility service is an illegal tax and to make it lega
Santa Monica, CA — Consumer Watchdog has urged LA City Attorney Mike Feuer to oppose a deceptive and inadequate Notice to ratepayers in a class action settlement over the transfer of hundreds of millions of dollars in power rates to City coffers.
Santa Monica, CA -- 30 environmental and public interest groups urged Governor Brown to articulate a new plan for keeping oil in the ground as the next step to his acknowledgment that turning the course of climate change will require extraordinary new action.
Santa Monica, CA — Governor Jerry Brown should immediately stop all offshore drilling in state waters in response to President Trump’s decision to vastly expand offshore drilling from the Atlantic to the Arctic, including in federal waters off of California, Consumer Watchdog said today.
Carolers raised their voices before the Governor’s Mansion last night, singing “Jerry Brown Jerry Brown, Keep It In The Ground” to the tune of Jingle Bells and also Consumer Watchdog’s 12 Days of Brown Christmas, both remakes of classic carols that highlight his dirty energy policies.
Santa Monica, CA—As Sempra’s Aliso Canyon natural gas reserve sprang another leak this week, reigniting nosebleeds and headaches among nearby LA County residents, Consumer Watchdog released an animation featuring Governor Jerry Brown and an updated "Twelve Days of Christmas" song highlighting his support for fossil fuels and dirty energy policies.
Governor Jerry Brown sells himself as one of the world’s foremost climate change warriors. But as long as he protects the oil industry, California will miss its ambitious 2030 greenhouse gas emissions targets.
In Europe recently, Governor Brown touted “cap-and-trade” as the answer. A new report by Near Zero, an adviser to the state on its market mechanism to control emissions, shows why he is wrong.
Santa Monica, CA -- Today’s vote by the Board of Water and Power Commissioners for LADWP to transfer $242 million in ratepayer money to the City’s coffers is an illegal tax that should be either rebated or plowed into the LADWP’s electric infrastructure, said Consumer Watchdog and LADWP Advocacy Committee President Jack Humphreville.
Consumer Watchdog said that it was exploring legal options to have a court prevent the money from being taken from ratepayers to fill a city budget hole rather than for utility services.
Santa Monica, CA — The Board of Water and Power Commissioners for LADWP has put on its agenda a Tuesday vote to transfer nearly $242 million from “surplus” power rates — overcharges to ratepayers — to fill a hole in the city budget without voter approval at the ballot box.
Consumer Watchdog said such a so-called “transfer fee” should be illegal under Prop 26, which requires voter approval for such fees because they are really taxes.
When President Trump moved to expand the Keystone pipeline to the Gulf, we warned him that it wasn't just a risk to the land, but the economy.
The report Consumer Watchdog issued in 2013 along with Tom Steyer, in his pre-impeachment campaign days, showed the pipeline was going to drive up gasoline prices in the Midwest.
Santa Monica, CA — As protestors heckled Governor Jerry Brown during his tour abroad for failing to leave oil and gas in the ground, new scientific research shows that his signature greenhouse gas trading program to cut emissions is ineffective.