Press Release

Two Refineries Down, Gas Prices Up: Consumer Watchdog Calls For On-Site Inspections To Investigate Price Manipulation

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18. February 2015

Two Refineries Down, Gas Prices Up: Consumer Watchdog Calls For On-Site Inspections To Investigate Price Manipulation

Santa Monica, CA—Responding to a shutdown of two refineries that produce 16 percent of the state’s gasoline, Consumer Watchdog called on state officials to send independent inspectors to verify refinery claims that the shutdowns were really necessary.

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Senator, Energy Investigators Slam Refinery Price Manipulation

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7. June 2012

Senator, Energy Investigators Slam Refinery Price Manipulation

The energy investigators who nailed Enron for energy price manipulation that nearly bankrupted California just took aim at oil refining giants including Chevron and BP. May the refiners’ gasoline-price schemes now come crashing down in an Enron-style heap. We’ve known for years that California and West Coast refiners find endless ways to shut down some […]

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BP Lies Down With Russia, Gets Up With Fleas

9. November 2011

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BP Lies Down With Russia, Gets Up With Fleas

British oil giant BP would like us all to forget its record oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico last year, a deadly 2005 explosion at its Texas City oil refinery and a major Alaskan oil spill in between–all of them the result of a company that cared more about the bottom line than about […]

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Report on Gas Blast Sounds Too Familiar

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31. August 2011

Report on Gas Blast Sounds Too Familiar

A deadly brew of corporate carelessness and failed regulation caused the natural gas pipeline explosion that killed eight residents in a quiet neighborhood of San Bruno, CA., says a long-awaited report by the National Transportation Safety Board. The harsh conclusions and strong language echo a similar report on the causes of a 2005 refinery explosion that killed 15 workers […]

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Oil Will Grease a Debt-Limit Recession

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27. July 2011

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Oil Will Grease a Debt-Limit Recession

If the U.S. ends the coming weekend without national debt limit deal, it won’t just be bond defaults sending the nation back into a deep, ugly recession. A hint came Tuesday as the price of oil rose a little, nearing $100 a barrel once again even as stocks did a mini-tank, with the Dow down […]

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If Exxon Can’t Deal With the Montana Spill…

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12. July 2011

If Exxon Can’t Deal With the Montana Spill…

Exxon is still fumbling to deal with a 42,000-gallon oil pipeline spill on the Yellowstone River west of Billings, Montana. Its initial response was pathetic–it was slow to turn off the gushing pipeline, had no plan for dealing with a spill in high water (i.e. every spring) and, most alarmingly, “misspoke” about how deeply the […]

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Japan Meltdown: Human Error Starts in the Boardroom

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17. March 2011

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Japan Meltdown: Human Error Starts in the Boardroom

I remember days and nights spent at a rewrite desk in Washington 25 years ago, taking in and editing nearly unbelievable information from reporters in Russia and Western Europe. Where was this place, Chernobyl? Was the meltdown first, or the explosion? Was radiation really spreading across Europe? Do we have a stringer in Norway? How […]

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Chevron Ecuador Judgment: A Long Way From Paid

15. February 2011

Chevron Ecuador Judgment: A Long Way From Paid

An Ecuadorean judge’s ruling Monday that Chevron owes $8.8 billion for oil-drilling damage and pollution in the Amazon is far less than asked. But it’s far more than Chevron intends to pay–which is zero, except for the tens of millions of dollars or more the oil giant is shelling out to its army of lawyers. […]

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BP Spill Claims: Secrecy Raises New Suspicion

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5. January 2011

BP Spill Claims: Secrecy Raises New Suspicion

Every time BP or its hired claims administrator Kenneth Feinberg drip out a little information about Feinberg’s pay deal and BP’s control of the process, it raises even deeper suspicions. I guess Feinberg’s independence from BP all depends on your definition of “independent.”

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Valero Uses Contract Workers for Easy Layoffs

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29. December 2010

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Valero Uses Contract Workers for Easy Layoffs

We’ve been watching the refining company Valero since it spent $5 million last year attempting to kill California’s landmark global warming law. Ads for the ballot measure pounded on the idea that killing pollution controls would protect jobs. So does Valero really believe in protecting jobs? Ask the nearly 1,000 contract workers summarily dismissed from Valero’s Aruba plant (pictured) 16 months ago.

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What BP’s Secrecy on Payout Deals Sacrifices

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7. December 2010

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What BP’s Secrecy on Payout Deals Sacrifices

We’ve reported about what’s wrong in the secrecy around BP’s payments to Kenneth Feinberg and his law firm, which is doling out compensation for BP’s devastating oil spill in the Gulf. Monday, though, the Center for Justice and Democracy got deep into the guts of the matter.

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BP’s Cost Chiselers Back in Action

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7. December 2010

BP’s Cost Chiselers Back in Action

Late last week, as the presidential oil spill commission’s co-chair and staff blamed BP’s cost-cutting and “failure of management” for the devastating spill in the Gulf of Mexico, BP managers claimed that the government estimate of the amount of the spill by should be cut 20% to 50%, which would save the company billions in […]

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Feinberg Can’t Do Public Job, Take Secret Pay

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23. November 2010

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Feinberg Can’t Do Public Job, Take Secret Pay

The deadline for submitting claims to the $20 billion BP oil spill compensation fund is midnight Tuesday. The wrangling over payouts will go on, perhaps for years. Yet the administrator of the fund, Kenneth Feinberg, stubbornly refuses to say how much he’s being paid by the oil company, eroding the trust of frustrated claimants and […]

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