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Posts tagged “FTCR”

By Robert Rapier on Mar 18, 2009 with no responses

A Lost Litigation Opportunity

While the so-called ‘hot gas’ issue has been discussed here several times before, there are new developments out in California that have Oil Watchdog and the $295/hr lawyer behind this ‘consumer organization’ crying over lost litigation opportunities. Given the time, effort, and money they have put into this issue, the events described in this essay are quite a blow for them. At least they will now have more time to devote to their other campaigns, such as 1). Stopping oil companies from donating money to universities; and 2). Berating oil companies for not giving enough to universities. (They make more sense if you view them as a satirical site along the lines of The Onion. The only problem is that… Continue»

By Robert Rapier on Aug 24, 2008 with no responses

Oil Watchdog on Fuel from Algae

I have gotten out of the habit of visiting Oil Watchdog whenever I want a bit of energy-themed comic relief. They are so ‘over the top’ and transparent that it really hasn’t been necessary to debunk them. As I have documented before, on the one hand they accuse oil companies of not supporting alternative energy or donating any of their profits. Yet where oil companies are funding alternative energy and donating to colleges, they are accused of ‘greenwashing’ and attempting to control university research. You can see some of the articles I have written documenting their intellectual dishonesty and inconsistent ‘reporting’ here. As you can see, they will even take a rumor (“I absolutely can’t vouch for the truth of… Continue»

By Robert Rapier on Feb 6, 2008 with no responses

Consumers Boil

This is quite timely coming on the heels of my previous essay. I talked about the press picking up and running with the comments of Oil Watchdog’s Judy Dugan as if she were actually a credible source of information. Here’s a perfect example: Consumers boil over oil profits For years, oil companies have been cast as villains. That perception didn’t change Friday when the two largest U.S. oil companies reported record profits — again. Let me first say that I certainly understand why consumers are upset. I remember when I was younger and commuting a long distance, every increase in gas prices really hurt. If oil companies were reporting record profits at the same time I was paying record amounts… Continue»

By Robert Rapier on Feb 5, 2008 with no responses

The Intellectual Dishonesty of a "Consumer Watchdog"

I am having an internal debate with myself regarding which aspect Oil Watchdog I find most annoying: Their intellectual dishonesty, their reprehensible tactics, or just their plain old-fashioned stupidity. I can give lots of examples of each, but I really think it’s their dishonesty that bothers me the most. When a “consumer watchdog” stoops repeatedly to dishonesty and distortions to sell their story, it calls into question their true motivation. And when the press picks up these distortions and reports them as news, the credibility of the reporting organizations is damaged (as it should be when they don’t do their homework). We see the tactics of Judy Dugan and her cronies all the time with politicians: One distorts the record… Continue»

By Robert Rapier on Jan 24, 2008 with no responses

I Want to be a Consumer Advocate

The job of “consumer advocate” has got to be one of the easiest jobs in the world. You don’t need any credentials, you don’t need to fact check, and you get to write your own press releases in which you liberally quote yourself as an authority. And the most important rule of all seems to be – Send out frequent, hysterical press releases so people will think you are relevant. This latest release from the FTCR (which spawned Oil Watchdog) has got to be one of the most ill-informed pieces of tripe I have ever read. Does the press who decides to run this junk bother to critically analyze anything? Well, if they won’t, I will: Foundation for Taxpayer and… Continue»

By Robert Rapier on Nov 14, 2007 with no responses

Who’s Watching Oil Watchdog?

NEWS RELEASE November 14, 2007 “Consumer Advocacy” Group Under Investigation Group Charged with Deceptive Journalism and Misrepresentation Santa Monica, CA — Judy Dugan, Research Director for the Foundation for Taxpayer and Consumer Rights (FTCR), again finds herself defending against allegations of misconduct. Dugan is being investigated for consistent misleading press releases originating from the FTCR’s Oil Watchdog project. Oil Watchdog ostensibly exists to protect consumers from rising oil and gas prices. However, an investigation has revealed that the organization is actually funded by trial lawyers, and that the misleading information promoted by Dugan’s organizations is aimed at stirring anger toward corporate interests. Dugan, who could not be reached for comment on these allegations, clearly understands that angry consumers are litigious… Continue»

By Robert Rapier on Nov 7, 2007 with no responses

Oil Watchdog Accepts Money from Big Oil

Consumer organization Oil Watchdog has admitted to accepting money from Chevron. This is odd behavior for an organization that has been fiercely critical of universities and museums that accept donations from oil companies. Oil Watchdog staff member John Simpson, after having accepted the contribution from Chevron, defended his actions by claiming he gave the money to a friend. Simpson also argued that Chevron didn’t really need the money anyway. Following this admission, Simpson made a plea for more funding from readers. Must be tough times for Oil Watchdog’s trial lawyer backers. —————————– * Note: When reporting on Oil Watchdog’s misdeeds, I will try keep to the journalistic standards they have set. The only difference is, unlike Oil Watchdog’s reporting, what… Continue»

By Robert Rapier on Nov 6, 2007 with no responses

Making It Up As They Go Along

Oil Watchdog’s latest press release has finally prompted me to write my own. I am composing it now, to be released in the next day or so. Here is the article that is prompting the response: Oil Watchdog: We Make It Up As We Go Along “Oil companies are reaping profits of up to $75 a barrel on $95-a-barrel oil, and now they’re taking the leash off of gasoline prices as well,” said Judy Dugan, research director of FTCR and its OilWatchdog project. “With the U.S. economy at a tipping point, a 14-cent jump in gasoline over a single week signals a spike that will empty consumers’ pockets during the holiday season. It’s not hard to imagine $4.00 a gallon… Continue»

By Robert Rapier on Oct 27, 2007 with no responses

Oil Watchdog Praises COP

I must be in Bizarro World: Watching Conoco’s Next Move Nope, no surprise today in ConocoPhillips’ third quarter profit report… down some on lower refining profits, up some on higher oil prices. The net effect was a 5.2% drop from last year’s comparable period. One interesting point in the report was that Conoco, unlike the rest of Big Oil, kept its refineries running at 97% of capacity in the quarter. Nationally, the figure was probably under 90%. The big question is whether Conoco and other refiners will cut back on making and storing gasoline in the next few months–which will determine pump prices next spring. If refiners keep supplies low and try for the profit percentage they got last May… Continue»

By Robert Rapier on Oct 17, 2007 with no responses

Where I Go for Comic Relief

I am going to have to start issuing my own press releases. That’s what our good friends at Oil Watchdog – the oil-hating arm of the FTCR, like to do. They write their own press releases – daily – and use as reference material other press releases they have written. Their sources are frequently “Insider”, who frequently says very silly things. Not the kind of things an actual insider would say. Things like this: “Oil companies have cut back production in refineries to a mere 87 percent of potential and the surplus in storage tanks is drying up fast.” Sounds like someone never heard of fall turnaround season. You know, that time of year – every year – where utilization… Continue»