Newsom Administration Issues Six More Fracking Permits To Aera Energy Consumer Watchdog Says

Los Angeles, CA — The Newsom Administration issued six more fracking permits to Aera Energy late on Friday afternoon at a time of great risk to the environment and to the public health of affected communities also exposed to Covid 19, Consumer Watchdog said today.

The number of fracking permits issued this year—despite a nine-month moratorium imposed by Newsom that ended last April—now comes to 54 issued to Aera and Chevron. 

KNBC Los Angeles: Consumer Watchdog Calls on Newsom to Address CA's Failed Bottle Deposit System

Why is the Oil Industry Harassing Consumer Watchdog?

As Pulitzer Prize-winning columnist Michael Hiltzik lays out in his column today in the Los Angeles Times, the world’s biggest oil and gas companies have wasted over 500 hours of Consumer Watchdog’s legal time over the last 18 months trying to get a peek at how we know what we know about the oil industry.  Thank you to Consumer Watchdog staff attorney Danny Sternberg for all his hard work defending the organization.

Fair Political Practices Commission Investigates Two Oil Regulators For Conflict Of Interest After Consumer Watchdog Complaint

 

Los Angeles-- The Fair Political Practices Commission is investigating two regulators at the Division of Oil, Gas, and Geothermal Resources for conflicts of interests raised in a July complaint by Consumer Watchdog.

rePlanet Shuts Down All 284 Recycling Centers In CA

DOGGR Regulator Fired Over Conflicts of Interest and Increased Oil Well Permits

Watchdogs Call For Resignations & Permit Freeze As California Oil Regulators Approve Surge In Well Permits While Personally Invested In Oil Companies

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).

Consumer and Recycling Advocates Condemn Loss of Last Recycling Center West of 405 Freeway

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. 

Consumer Watchdog Urges Immediate Budget Fix to Save CA Recycling Program; In Crisis After Grocers Kill Life Line For Centers In Legislature

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. 

Consumer Watchdog Applauds Governor Newsom’s Energy Commission Report Taking on Gas Price Manipulation

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.  

California Stores Preventing Bottle Deposit Redemption

Consumer and Recycling Advocates Condemn Loss of Last Recycling Center West of 405 Freeway

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. 

Consumer Watchdog Report Shows 66% of Grocery Stores Surveyed Refused to Recycle

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. 

Ricardo Lara Puts Brakes On California's Climate Leadership

Los Angeles, CA — On Earth Day, California Insurance Commissioner Ricardo Lara chose “collaboration" with the insurance industry over urgent climate action. Commissioner Lara rejected a petition from 60 environmental, consumer and social justice groups that sought emergency rules to make insurers disclose the fossil fuel projects they insure. The Commissioner's refusal to act allows insurers to keep their complicity in global warming secret and puts the brakes on the forward momentum on climate built by the previous Department of Insurance, said Consumer Watchdog.

Public Interest Groups Seek Nation’s First Rule Mandating Insurance Companies Disclose the Fossil Fuel Projects They Insure

Los Angeles, CA --- More than 60 environmental, consumer and social justice organizations petitioned California Insurance Commissioner Ricardo Lara today seeking first in the nation emergency regulations to require insurance companies to disclose the fossil fuel projects they insure, even as climate change-exacerbated catastrophes are costing insurance companies billions.

Watchdog: PUC Must Go After Giving $6 Billion Credit Line To PG&E Pre-Bankruptcy, Raising Rates

Los Angeles, CA -- Consumer Watchdog called for the ouster of the California Public Utilities Commission over its decision late Monday to extend a $6 billion credit line to Pacific Gas & Electric in an unneeded emergency process that allowed no time for scrutiny. The unprecedented vote makes it easier for PG&E to go into bankruptcy today and avoid accountability to wildfire victims, ratepayers and taxpayers.

Consumer Watchdog: PG&E is No Victim, Governor Newsom Should Appoint Tough Regulator

Los Angeles, CA -- Consumer Watchdog said today that PG&E prematurely filed bankruptcy protection to drive a political bailout of the company and gain leverage over what and when it pays victims of fires it started.  Bankruptcy could delay what victims receive from the company for its negligence for years.

Maui Utilities’ Junket While Paradise Burned Should Spark New Rules For Real-time Disclosure of Lawmaker Trips

Los Angeles, CA -- In a letter to California’s legislative leaders, Consumer Watchdog today wrote that the shocking details of a utility junket in Maui with 12 state lawmakers while wildfires destroyed the state  should compel new immediate online disclosures about such trips.

Beholden Chris Holden’s Big Utility Tent

Assembly Member Chris Holden is the point man for Pacific Gas and Electric on its legislative bailout plans over the 2018 fires. That's why we paid his holiday party a visit.  Watch us sing Chris Holden our holiday carols.

First, we carolers had to convince some beefy Pasadena police that we didn’t come to Assemblyman Chris Holden’s Christmas open house at his district office to disrupt the festivities and dirty up the place (though we did leave a lunch bag of coal behind).

California Public Utility Commission Urged To Investigate PG&E and Other Utilities For Blackouts And To Require A Specific Threat Before Shutdowns

Los Angeles, CA — Consumer Watchdog today urged the President of the California Public Utilities Commission, Michael Picker, to launch a public investigation of Pacific Gas & Electric’s shutoff of power to thousands of customers in Northern California over the weekend due to high wind advisories.

Consumer Watchdog To Insurance Companies: Stop Underwriting Fossil Fuel Projects That Exacerbate Fires And Hurricanes

San Francisco, CA – The nonprofit consumer group responsible for the most effective regulation of the insurance industry in America said today it would be challenging America’s insurance companies to join their European counterparts in refusing to underwrite coal and fossil fuel projects.

TV Ad Of Youngster Schooling Gov. Brown For Being “Being Cruel And Heartless” On Oil Drilling Hits San Francisco Airwaves

San Francisco, CA — A 30-second tv ad featuring a 9-year old  girl admonishing Governor Brown for allowing oil drilling next to homes airs today on CNN and MSNBC in advance of Brown’s Global Climate Action Summit kick-off this week in San Francisco.  The "Jerry's Kids" tv ad campaign is paid for by nonprofits Consumer Watchdog and Food & Water Watch.

​​​​​​​Consumer Watchdog Thanks Jerry Brown For Signature On SB 100 But Says It Will Not Help Kids Living In Shadows Of Oil Wells

Los Angeles, CA -- Consumer Watchdog congratulated legislative leaders and Governor Brown today for pushing through and signing SB 100, historic legislation that sets out to decarbonize the electricity sector completely by 2045. But the nonprofit group said Brown still must use its executive powers to stop neighborhood oil drilling and take on oil drilling directly. 

Consumer Advocates Thank Senate Pro Tem Toni Atkins For Standing Up to Energy Barons To Protect Consumers And The Environment

Los Angeles, CA —  On the last night of the California legislative session, Senate pro Tem Toni Atkins stood up to political and industry pressure and stopped passage of legislation that would have threatened consumers with electricity price manipulation and the invalidation of state environmental laws, according to leading public interest groups.

Taxpayer Sues DWP and City for Illegal Transfer of Nearly $242 Million After L.A. Experienced Blackouts During Heatwave

UPDATE:  If you are a victim of a recent LA DWP blackout we want to hear your story. Please email us at: [email protected]

 

Los Angeles, CA -- A Los Angeles taxpayer filed a lawsuit against the City of Los Angeles and the Department of Water and Power (“DWP”) alleging that the City and DWP converted nearly $242 million in ratepayer funds into an illegal tax, according to Consumer Watchdog.

Watchdog Offers New Info That Western Power Market Plan is Enron All Over Again Without The Legal Remedy

Los Angeles, CA -- As the Governor is expected to announce special deliberations on utility proposals shortly, Consumer Watchdog offered new information to the legislature about problems with the proposed new Western power market. The group warned that legislation to subsume California’s electricity grid into a giant regional power trading system will not only open the state to trading manipulation, but permanently hobble California when it comes to prosecuting Enron-style manipulation in the future.

Consumer Watchdog Condemns California Senate Energy Committee Vote For Western Power Trading Casino

Los Angeles, CA — The California Senate Energy, Utilities & Communications Committee voted today to pass legislation turning California into a giant Western power trading casino that puts ratepayers and the environment at risk, Consumer Watchdog said in condemning the vote for AB 813.

Not Every Angeleno Prospers In The Oil Economy

“Not every Angeleno is going to prosper in the ‘Next-Gen new economy,’” according to a recent newspaper ad by the State Building & Construction Trades. The union wants politicians not to “be bullied into supporting job killing regulations that are designed to shutter yet another Southern California industry.” This one being the oil and gas industry.

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 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.    

Legislature Pulls Brown’s Electric Deregulation Plan Ramrod After Public Backlash

Sacramento, CA – A public backlash against Governor Brown’s eleventh hour attempt to give Western energy barons and Trump officials power over California’s energy and the state’s laws has ended for the year.

Assembly Member Chris Holden has stated his last-minute bills will not go forward after activists and newspaper editorial boards condemned the backroom dealing and ramrod of complex proposals with only days left in the legislative session.

Governor Brown’s Former Cabinet Secretary Secretly Lobbying for California’s Grid Operator

Santa Monica, CA — Governor Brown’s former cabinet secretary, and former executive for Pacific Gas & Electric, Dana Williamson, is said to be lobbying in the state Capitol to ramrod through reauthorization of a regional trading market for electricity that set up the state’s disastrous energy crisis two decades ago, according to legislative sources.

Consumer Watchdog Calls On LA City Council To Fire LADWP Ratepayer Advocate Based On His Backing Of Delta Tunnels

Los Angeles, CA -- The Los Angeles City Council should reject a recommendation by Fred Pickel, Director of the Office of Public Accountability at the LADWP, that the city back tunnels altering water diversions South from the San Francisco Bay Delta, and should fire him for once again favoring utility over ratepayer interests, Consumer Watchdog said today.

“Pickel’s assertions that the Delta tunnel project is affordable for ratepayers is pure fantasy,” said Consumer Watchdog Advocate Liza Tucker.