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Dude, where’s my car? | Mark Morgenstein

Getting your vehicle towed can be a memorable experience -- not in a good way

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News Release | U.S. PIRG Education Fund

Report: Getting off the hook of a predatory tow, state-by-state

Every year, millions of Americans have their cars towed without their consent from private property or a public street. U.S. PIRG Education Fund has identified 14 common sense towing protections that should be available to consumers in every state, and researched which states offer those safeguards.

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News Release | U.S.PIRG

Statement: U.S. PIRG applauds President Biden’s proposed child benefit extension

President Joe Biden is moving in the right direction with a proposed an extension of the child tax credit as part of his “American Families Plan.” It’s about time that Congress corrects a historic failure to fully value the contribution of at-home caregiving. 

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News Release | U.S. PIRG Education Fund; Environment America Research & Policy Center

New report: One hundred days in, President Biden is making headway restoring environmental protections

WASHINGTON -- President Joe Biden promised ambitious action to tackle climate change and America’s other environmental problems upon taking office. A new progress report from Environment America Research & Policy Center and U.S. PIRG Education Fund finds that despite the need to rebuild many federal agencies and tackle the COVID-19 crisis, the Biden administration has already taken numerous steps to restore environmental protections rolled back by the Trump administration.

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Blog Post | Safe Energy, Transportation

Progress Report: President Biden’s First 100 Days | Matt Casale

Our new progress report finds that despite the need to rebuild many federal agencies and tackle the COVID-19 crisis, the Biden administration has already taken numerous steps to restore environmental protections.

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News Release | U.S. PIRG

Statement: Gov. Northam announces executive order to phase out single use plastics

RICHMOND, Va -- Gov. Ralph Northam announced Tuesday Executive Order 77, eliminating disposable plastic bags and single-use foodware at all state agencies within 120 days, and phasing out  a wider range of single-use plastics in the state agencies and public universities by 2025. It also directs the state government to develop solid waste reduction and landfill diversion recommendations.

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News Release | U.S. PIRG Education Fund

New report: COVID-19 cases in nursing homes drop by 80 percent after mass vaccinations

There are many reasons for optimism, particularly the huge turnaround that started in the second half of December when vaccines started rolling out. We found that has led to a decline in nursing home cases exceeding 80 percent. But this is not a time to act irresponsibly or get overly confident.

 

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News Release | U.S. PIRG Education Fund | Solid Waste

130+ groups send letter to Whole Foods Market calling on company to put “Planet Over Plastic”

BOSTON -- Environment America Research & Policy Center, U.S. PIRG Education Fund and more than 130 additional groups from coast-to-coast mailed Whole Foods CEO John Mackey a letter Thursday calling on him to commit to concrete and verifiable steps that reduce the company’s plastic footprint.

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News Release | U.S.PIRG Education Fund

New report: Society undervalues family caregivers’ vital, increasingly important role

People caring for their aging parents, their loved ones with disabilities, or their children are doing some of the most important work there is. And yet many public policies undervalue the worth of caring for a loved one. As the largest population cohort in U.S. history -- the Baby Boomers -- ages, with a longer expected lifespan than ever, the need for caregivers will grow. Vital and Undervalued, a new report from U.S. PIRG Education Fund, shows how many people are either providing care for or receiving care from a loved one.

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News Release | US PIRG | Consumer Tips

Statement: Massive charity telemarketing scam shut down

 

The scheme fraudulently raised more than $110 million on behalf of sham charities supposedly representing causes such as homeless veterans and cancer patients.

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Report | U.S. PIRG Education Fund | Consumer Protection

Consumer Complaints Break Records

On the 10th anniversary of the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau’s (CFPB) establishment as a centerpiece of the 2010 Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act (the law passed on 21 July 2010 and the Bureau opened its doors one year later), we look at the latest results from the CFPB’s public Consumer Complaint Database. This snapshot finds that, as the COVID-19 pandemic wreaks havoc on the financial situations of millions of Americans, consumer complaints to the CFPB have spiked to record levels.

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Report | U.S. PIRG Education Fund

Hospital Repair Restrictions

Our report on how manufacturers restrict repair for devices in hospitals, and how that impacts patient care. The report includes a survey of 222 medical device repair professionals, which highlights how widespread these issues are in hospitals, even during the pandemic. 

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Report | U.S. PIRG Education Fund | Higher Ed

Fixing the Broken Textbook Market, Second Edition

The U.S. PIRG Education Fund and the Student PIRGs asked students how the high cost of college course materials affects them. 

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Report | U.S. PIRG Education Fund | COVID-19

Putting Consumers First

U.S. PIRG Education Fund, the Student Borrower Protection Center and Consumer Action have released a report recommending that  CFPB should use the full extent of its authority to take immediate action to strengthen its consumer complaint tool, hold companies accountable for providing complete and timely responses to consumers, and leverage consumer complaints related to the pandemic to support oversight and regulatory action to protect consumers.

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Report | U.S. PIRG Education Fund and National Taxpayers Union Foundation | Tax

Toward Common Ground 2020

Even before COVID-19, the U.S. was on track to surpass a $1 trillion deficit. Current projections are climbing much higher. Once the immediate health crisis begins to subside, lawmakers will face the challenge of adopting a 2021 federal budget in a time of reduced revenue. U.S. PIRG Education Fund and National Taxpayers Union Foundation have come together to recommend over 50 bipartisan spending reform recommendations for Congress, totaling nearly $800 billion in savings.

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Blog Post | Consumer Tips

22 ways to protect yourself from fraud, identity theft and headaches | Teresa Murray

Fraud/ identity theft is the No. 1 complaint to the Federal Trade Commission, with 2.2 million complaints last year. Consumers reported losing $3.3 billion last year, up from $1.8 billion in 2019.

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Blog Post | Consumer Tips

Fraudulent unemployment claims: You could be next -- here's what to do | Jacob van Cleef

Fraudulent unemployment claims have been on the rise during the pandemic. Scammers received more than $36 billion by fraudulently claiming unemployment benefits last year, with millions of cases of fraud suspected. You could be next.

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Blog Post | Consumer Tips, Consumer Protection

How to get your stimulus payments when you file your tax return | Teresa Murray

Some of your friends or relatives have received two COVID-19 relief/ stimulus payments in the past year. And a third may be on the way soon. If you haven’t received anything yet and believe you should have, don’t fret.

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Blog Post | Consumer Tips, Consumer Protection

Tips to file your tax return while avoiding fees, scams | Jacob van Cleef

You have six weeks to file your income tax return for 2020. Every year, it seems there are more issues to watch out for. 

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Blog Post | Consumer Tips, Consumer Protection

The worst consumer problem: Fraud/identity theft | Teresa Murray

One in 20 people was a victim in 2019. Account takeovers, which involve a criminal gaining access to an existing account, soared by 72 percent in 2019.

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Blog Post

In light of some of these newer cons, here is actionable information to help you avoid the aggravation, time and financial losses that come with sophisticated scams.

News Release | PIRG Education Fund

Special interest groups across the country are working to stall the growth of rooftop solar, according to a new report released Thursday by PIRG Education Fund and Environment America Research & Policy Center.

Report | PIRG Education Fund

Solar power is helping move the United States toward a future of 100% renewable energy, while reducing global warming pollution, cleaning up the air in our communities, and empowering homeowners and business owners to generate their own electricity. And increasingly, solar power can do all that at a lower cost than electricity produced from fossil fuels. Utilities increasingly fear that the falling prices and rising availability of clean solar power will threaten their business model, which ties profits to the amount of capital investment they make in the grid, and sometimes to the amount of electricity sold. Consequently, in states across the country, utilities are using their money and clout to push policymakers to undercut solar power.

News Release | PIRG Education Fund

In a shareholder meeting Wednesday, Jose Cils, CEO of Restaurant Brands International, parent company of Burger King, suggested that the fast food giant was testing alternatives to toxic PFAS in its food packaging. Representatives on the customer service line indicated that the company would do so by the end of the year.

Blog Post

 

Some people ‘subscribe’ to ambulances, but the subscription may not be worth it

Solid Waste

New federal bill calls for U.S. to move beyond plastic

On Feb. 11, U.S. Sen. Tom Udall and U.S. Rep. Alan Lowenthal introduced legislation that would phase out unnecessary single-use plastics, which commonly end up clogging our landfills and polluting our environment. It also provides funding for recycling and composting infrastructure, and would shift the financial burden of managing waste and recyclables from town and city governments to the manufacturers.

 

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