Energy & Environment

Energy

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.

 


Focus Areas:

Consumer Watchdog Warns CA Legislators New Utility Bailout Will Leave Gray Davis Stain 

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.

New Report: LADWP’s Ratepayer Advocate Is Costing Angelenos Nearly $7 Billion Extra And Should Be Fired

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 Shows Limiting Oil Drilling In California Is Critical To GHG Emissions Cuts

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.

Consumer Watchdog Demands That State Oil Regulators Publicly Reveal Leaking California Oil Wells That Are Counted But Not Disclosed

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.

Lawyers Get The Dough And DWP Ratepayers Get The Shaft, Sound Familiar?

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

Consumer Watchdog Challenges City Attorney Mike Feuer To Stand Up For LA Ratepayers Not Politicians In DWP Transfer Case To Be Heard Wednesday

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.

Consumer Watchdog Urges Gov. Brown To Halt All CA Offshore Drilling In Response To Trump Move To Open Federal Waters

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.

New "The Twelve Days of Jerry" Christmas Song and Animation Show Jerry Brown’s Big Polluting Gifts To Dirty Energy Industry

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.    

Gov. Brown Should Stop Protecting the Oil Industry

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.

DWP Rubberstamps $242 Million Tuesday Takeaway from Ratepayers In Violation Of Their Rights

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.

Consumer Watchdog Decries LADWP Transfer Of $242 Million From Ratepayers To City Budget Without Voter Approval

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.