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News Release | U.S.PIRG | Consumer Protection

Strong National Payday Rule Could Save Consumers Billions

Today, the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) released its draft high cost small dollar lending (payday and auto title) loan rule for public comment. 

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LATimes: Obama's consumer protection legacy defined by aggressive agency

[This weekend, the Los Angele Times chronicled President Obama's consumer protection record, with heavy emphasis on the history and fight over the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB):]

"[...] Launched in the wake of the 2008 financial crisis, the bureau is one of President Obama’s signature accomplishments. [...] “I think you have to consider him a tremendous president for consumers,” said Ed Mierzwinski, consumer program director at the U.S. Public Interest Research Group."

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Blog Post | Transportation

A World Without Carbon Pollution – Closer Than You Might Think | John Olivieri

For many, a world without carbon pollution seems like a distant utopia. To some, this even seems unobtainable. The size and scope of the challenge before us can be daunting, yet, there is good news -- a world without carbon pollution is closer than you think.

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Defending Colorado’s Consumer Advocate

For 30 years, Colorado’s consumer advocate, the Office of Consumer Counsel (OCC), has gone to bat for Colorado consumers on gas, electric and telephone matters. All told, it has saved Coloradans more than $1.7 billion on their bills. Despite this track record of success, in 2015 the state legislature came close to eliminating it. CoPIRG helped mobilize public support and generate media attention to save the OCC.

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Blog Post | Consumer Protection

As CFPB Escalates Drive Toward Protections, Study Finds CFPB Enforcement Works | Ed Mierzwinski

This month the CFPB issued its proposed rule prohibiting class action bans in small-print mandatory arbitration clauses; in June it is expected to release its high-cost small dollar lending (payday and auto title loan) proposed rule. Meanwhile, as CFPB's industry opponents hide behind astroturf front groups and Congressional opponents use backdoor attacks, a law professor has released a major report finding that "from its inception [in 2011] through 2015 the agency had a 122-and-0 track record in its publicly announced enforcement actions" and that 93% (over $10.5 billion) of funds recovered for consumers have been for deceptive practices -- "[f]ar from a novel legal theory."

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News Release | CoPIRG | Consumer Protection

Legislature, Governor Must Step up to the Plate for Consumers

 Despite a 30-year track record of going to bat for consumers and saving Coloradans $1.7 billion, Colorado’s Consumer Advocate is in danger of being permanently benched if the Colorado General Assembly and Governor do not step up to the plate and reauthorize it. With just ten days left before the Legislature adjourns, CoPIRG launched a late inning push to get the Legislature and Governor to go to bat for Colorado’s consumer MVP so it can continue to fight for consumers on electric, gas and telecommunication utility issues in the upcoming years.

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News Release | CoPIRG | Consumer Protection

Legislature, Governor Must Step up to the Plate for Consumers?

 Despite a 30-year track record of going to bat for consumers and saving Coloradans $1.7 billion, Colorado’s Consumer Advocate is in danger of being permanently benched if the Colorado General Assembly and Governor do not step up to the plate and reauthorize it. With just ten days left before the Legislature adjourns, CoPIRG launched a late inning push to get the Legislature and Governor to go to bat for Colorado’s consumer MVP so it can continue to fight for consumers on electric, gas and telecommunication utility issues in the upcoming years.

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News Release | CoPIRG | Tax

Key Committee Approves Bill to Close Offshore Tax Haven Loophole

The Colorado House Finance Committee approved a bill that would close a tax loophole that allows large multinational corporations to avoid paying their share in taxes. The bill, HB15-1346, sponsored by State Representatives Brittany Pettersen and Mike Foote, would close the so-called “water’s edge loophole” that some companies use to dodge their Colorado tax bill leaving average Colorado families and small businesses to pick up the tab.

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News Release | CoPIRG | Tax

Colorado Small Businesses Foot $3,165 Bill from Offshore Tax Dodging

As Tax Day approaches, the CoPIRG Foundation released a new study highlighting that small businesses end up picking up the tab for offshore tax loopholes used by many large multinational corporations. The study revealed that the average Colorado small business owner would have to pay an extra $3,165 in taxes to make up for the money lost in 2014 due to offshore tax haven abuse by large multinational corporations. State Representatives Brittany Pettersen and Mike Foote and other advocates joined CoPIRG to highlight a new bill that aims to close a loophole in Colorado that costs the state millions.  

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News Release | CoPIRG | Higher Ed

CoPIRG Applauds Representative Diana DeGette’s Leadership on Affordable Higher Education

"Student loan debt isn’t an 800 pound gorilla in Colorado. It’s an 800,000 pound gorilla with nearly 800,000 people in Colorado with student loan debt. Student loan debt is large, it’s growing and we applaud Representative DeGette for being a champion of policies that will tackle this issue," said Danny Katz, CoPIRG Director.

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Report | CoPIRG | Food

Apples to Twinkies

The rise in childhood obesity has many causes, but one of the most important is the increased prevalence of high-fat, heavily sweetened junk food.  And shockingly, American taxpayers are spending billions to subsidize junk food ingredients, making the problem worse.

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Report | CoPIRG | Budget, Financial Reform, Tax

Tax Shell Game

Abuse of tax havens inflicts a price on other American taxpayers, who must pay higher taxes—now or in the future—to cover the government’s revenue shortfall, or must deal with cuts in government services.

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Report | CoPIRG | Budget, Tax

Following the Money 2011

Colorado got a “C” when it comes to openness about government spending according to our new report, Following the Money 2011.

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Report | CoPIRG | Budget, Tax, Transportation

Do Roads Pay for Themselves?

Highways do not – and, except for brief periods in our nation’s history, never have – paid for themselves through the taxes that highway advocates label “user fees.” Yet highway advocates continue to suggest they do in an attempt to secure preferential access to scarce public resources and to shape how those resources are spent.

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Report | CoPIRG Foundation | Safe Energy

Smart Savings

There are many practical ways to use energy more efficiently to save Coloradans money and protect public health.  Our report looks at 10 different policies.

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Blog Post | Transportation

Transportation policy is health policy | Sean Doyle

While transportation is often just thought of as how we get from point A to point B, the way we choose to do so can have important consequences on our physical health, air quality, safety, the development of our cities, and how we interact within them.

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Blog Post | Consumer Protection

30 Years of "Trouble in Toyland," 30 Years of Safety Improvements | Anna Low-Beer

Every year, U.S. PIRG Education Fund releases Trouble in Toyland, a report on toy safety which examines toys bought at major national retailers, looking for safety hazards including toxic toys, choking hazards, labeling violations, powerful magnets, and excessibely loud toys. We continue to find these hazards on store shelves, which indicates the need for continued vigilance and adequate enforcement of safety regulations. But despite lingering dangers, in the last 30 years, we've come a long way in terms of both policy and compliance with standards.

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Blog Post | Transportation

Millennials Want More Public Transportation | Sean Doyle

A new poll shows that access to public transportation is “very important” for Millennials in considering where to live and where to work.  The results support our research over the past few years that found Millennials are driving less than older generations and are more prone to walk, bike, or take transit to get where they need to go.

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Blog Post | Transportation

Communities Roaring for More TIGER Grants | Sean Doyle

Across the country, municipalities are looking for more transportation funding, particularly for public transportation. A recent poll from Politico magazine found that among mayors, aging and deteriorating transportation infrastructure was the most often cited concern. Enter TIGER grants.

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Blog Post | Financial Reform

Privacy, We've Got Tips and Ideas For You, Congress and Regulators, Too | Ed Mierzwinski

Problems with privacy and data security are all over the news these days. We've got you covered, from releasing a new report and consumer tips on the security freeze today to testifying to Congress (last week) on payment card security and speaking on a panel at the FTC tomorrow on Internet lead generation (what's that?). Oh, and we're waiting for answers to our questions to the CFPB about the credit bureau Experian joining the ranks of the breached. We've been busy as we explain in this "roundup" blog entry.

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Defend the CFPB

Tell your senators to oppose the “Financial CHOICE Act,” which would gut Wall Street reforms and destroy the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau as we know it.

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