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Investigative Reports

Consumer Watchdog criticized for ‘misleading’ report

July 29th, 2014 By John Hrabe. The shoe's on the other foot for Consumer Watchdog (no connection to CalWatchdog.com). Routinely critical of state regulators for failing to protect consumers, the consumer advocacy group has been criticized by an independent oversight panel for presenting "incorrect" and "misleading" information to the public. A 2013 Consumer Watchdog expose was titled, "Golden Wasteland: Regu...

Geothermal mandate could drive up energy costs

July 28th, 2014 By Dave Roberts.   California residents and businesses could be paying an extra $400 million annually for electricity if a geothermal energy mandate bill making its way through the Legislature becomes law. Senate Bill 1139, by Sen. Ben Hueso, D-San Diego, would require non-publicly-owned utilities to purchase 500 megawatts of new geothermal energy by 2024, with at least half of that purchased ...

Will CA groundwater regulation bring shortages?

July 22nd, 2014 By Wayne Lusvardi.   One area of California that largely has remained free of regulation is groundwater. Although state courts "adjudicate" groundwater rights and disputes, this longstanding system largely respects the private ownership of the water. Even the federal government mostly works within this state system. But that soon could change. On July 15, the Center for Watershed Sciences ...

FTB spends 5 years, fails to collect $392

July 16th, 2014 By Dave Roberts.   California’s Franchise Tax Board spent thousands of dollars over five years in the futile pursuit of a Redondo Beach septuagenarian for $392. For more than half of that time, FTB staff lost the taxpayer's records and didn’t inform him of it. Willard Christine appealed the FTB’s tax ruling to the state Board of Equalization. The BOE granted it, 3-2, on June 24. Two boar...
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