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News Release | U.S. PIRG | Financial Reform

Overdrafts continue to hit students hard on campus

Today, the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) released a report shining a spotlight on contracts between banks and colleges to promote debit cards on campus.  Students continue to get hit hard with overdraft fees attached to their campus bank accounts. According to the report, nearly one in ten consumers in the population with student accounts incurred 10 or more  overdrafts per year, paying, on average, $196 in overdraft fees alone. Below is a detailed analysis by US. PIRG's Chris Lindstrom, who championed the protections that the CFPB is reporting on. This report is one more example of why we need a strong CFPB. 

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Blog Post | Antibiotics

Another (yes, another) reason to stop overusing antibiotics | Matt Wellington

Researchers from The Ohio State University published a report today about the discovery of E-coli bacteria resistant to the antibiotic carbapenem in an Ohio swine facility. Uh oh.

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News Release | U.S. PIRG | Consumer Protection

Consumer Advocates Concerned By Court Ruling Overturning Ban on High-Powered Magnets

We've joined leading consumer and pediatrician organizations in a joint news release with a sharp critique of a U.S. appellate court decision overturning a U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission ban on the sale of high-powered small magnets (some as small as BBs) that pose a severe ingestion problem for children and youth. As our Trouble In Toyland report released on November 22 pointed out: "Nearly 80 percent of high-powered magnet ingestions require invasive medical intervention, either through an endoscopy, surgery, or both. In comparison, only 10 to 20 percent of other foreign body ingestions require endoscopic intervention and almost none require surgery."

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News Release | CoPIRG Foundation and Eco-Cycle | Solid Waste

New Report Finds Denver Missing Big Recycling Opportunities

Denver’s poor recycling rates place Colorado’s capitol city among the most wasteful cities in the nation, according to a report released today by nonprofits CoPIRG and Eco-Cycle. The analysis comes as hundreds of civic leaders gather for Mayor Hancock’s 2nd annual Sustainability Summit that will tackle recycling and materials management among other topics.

According to the report, Denver only recycles 18 percent of the waste from single-family homes and small apartments, one of the worst rates in Colorado as well as among peer cities across the country. In addition, many residents in large multi-unit apartment buildings lack access to the most basic component of recycling – the purple recycling bin.

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News Release | CoPIRG | Transportation

Highway Expansion Projects Stall Under Growing Scrutiny

As part of a pattern of costly highway expansion proposals stalling under increased scrutiny, a federal court in Wisconsin made history last week by forbidding the use of federal dollars to build a highway because no need had been demonstrated. The court put an abrupt halt to Governor Scott Walker’s plans to spend $146 million widening state Highway 23, holding the project ineligible for federal funding. The court cited inadequate evidence in state travel forecasts or recent traffic counts, adding doubt whether other highway expansion proposals around the country are really needed.

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News Release | CoPIRG | Consumer Protection

CoPIRG Applauds Governor Hickenlooper for Protecting Colorado Borrowers

Statement from CoPIRG Director Danny Katz

“Today Governor Hickenlooper stood up for Coloradans and vetoed HB15-1390, a last minute, special interest bill that would have increased borrowing costs on hard-working families across Colorado. This was rushed through with little debate, the proponent’s arguments were not supported by facts and the clear losers would have been the thousands of Coloradan’s whose interest rates would have jumped arbitrarily. We applaud the Governor for stopping this special interest giveaway. That's not how we do business in Colorado.”

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News Release | CoPIRG | Consumer Protection

Weakened Consumer Advocate Approved By Legislature

Late Wednesday night the Legislature reauthorized a weakened version of Colorado’s Consumer Advocate, allowing the consumer watchdog to continue to advocate for Coloradans but only on gas and electric issues moving forward. Despite its track record of success and clear role in future telecommunication cases coming before the Public Utilities Commission (PUC) from 9-1-1 surcharge increases to the state’s high cost fund, Republicans in the Senate locked down with a party line vote that stopped the Office of Consumer Counsel (OCC) from representing consumers on telecommunication issues.

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News Release | CoPIRG | Consumer Protection

Consumer Watchdog Will Get Disconnected Without Action

Colorado’s consumer watchdog is poised to get disconnected from telephone issues by the Colorado State Senate Friday. Unless an amendment is approved to allow Colorado’s consumer advocate, the Office of Consumer Counsel (OCC), to continue to do its job on telecom issues, Coloradans will be in danger of losing the representative that for 30 years has fought against unjustified prices and anti-consumer practices and won.

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News Release | CoPIRG | Consumer Protection

As 9-1-1 Fees Rise, Senate Bill Aims to Disconnect Consumer Watchdog

On the day a State Senate committee considers a bill to stop Colorado’s consumer watchdog from reviewing the 9-1-1 fees charged to Coloradans each month on their telephone bills, a new report highlights how some Colorado residents fees are four times higher than others. According to the report by CoPIRG, 9-1-1 surcharges on customer telephone bills, which fund a patchwork of local communities’ 9-1-1 services like Call Centers, have grown by 44% since 1998 and residents in Summit County and San Juan County in Colorado pay the highest fees.

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Blog Post | Consumer Protection

The CFPB at Three: A Child Prodigy | Ed Mierzwinski

The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) turned just three years old Monday, July 21st, but when you look at its massive and compelling body of work, you must wonder: Are watchdog years like plain old dog years? Is the CFPB now a full-sized, 21-year-old adult? The answer is no, not yet. The CFPB is still growing and developing and adding programs and projects. The CFPB is, however, at three years old, certainly a child prodigy. Despite overwhelming public support, however, powerful special interests continue to attack it. Yet, the idea of the CFPB needs no defense, only more defenders.

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Blog Post | Transportation

Questions we should ask about US 36 agreement | Danny Katz

There are three things people should review around the US 36 proposal - Is this a good transportation project? Should we engage in a public-private partnership to complete it? Has this been a good process?

This post is mainly about # 2, the 600 page agreement between CDOT and a private company to manage US 36 for the next 50 years.

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Blog Post | Transportation

CDOT releases 600 page US36 public-private partnership agreement | Danny Katz

At 4pm today, CDOT released the agreement for the US36 public-private partnership proposal.

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Blog Post | Transportation

Details Emerging on US36 Public-Private Partnership Proposal | Danny Katz

Update from Director Danny Katz on the details emerging around the US 36 Public-Private Partnership Proposal

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Blog Post | Transportation

New academic study underscores CoPIRG finding on reduced driving | Danny Katz

A new report from the University of Michigan Transportation Research Institute indicates that light duty miles down 8.8% between 2004 and 2011.

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