Tucker, Liza


The Toxic Denial Department

By Liza Tucker

Consumer Watchdog

What is a polluter’s shill to do when trying to save a client hundreds of millions of dollars in cleanup costs? Well, one tactic is to manipulate the public living near the site of a partial nuclear meltdown into believing that nothing at one of the most polluted sites in California can hurt them. And hint that maybe, just maybe, this well-documented partial meltdown never happened in the first place.

California Gas Prices: A Rigged Game Where Consumers Lose Big

By Liza Tucker

Who would want two companies, Tesoro and Chevron, to control more than half of California's gasoline market? Only people, like oil company executives, who think paying five dollars a gallon should be the new normal.

That could happen, though, if a deal goes through for Tesoro to buy BP's refinery in Carson and its low-cost Arco brand. In California, the ninth largest economy in the world, gasoline refineries have shrunk from 32 in the mid-1980s to just 14, owned by only a handful of companies. The more consolidated a market, the more tempting it is to make more money by producing and selling less gasoline. California's gasoline market is so consolidated that it is now geared to shortages and scarcity, which is why a few refinery outages and some scheduled refinery maintenance can cause a price spike of the sort you should only see in the wake of a real disaster.