Illinois PIRG Latest Blog Posts

 | by
Teresa Murray
Consumer Watchdog

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.

 | by
Ed Mierzwinski
Senior Director, Federal Consumer Program

We’re backing legislation to prevent the billionaire Sackler family from using the corporate bankruptcy of its company Purdue Pharma (makers of Oxycontin and other opioids) to avoid personal liability in ongoing lawsuits by some 24 state Attorneys General attempting to bring some justice to the families of the victims of the opioid crisis. Congress held a hearing Tuesday, June 8 at noon ET.

 | by
Abe Scarr
Illinois PIRG State Director

As documented in our December, 2020 report, Guaranteed Profits, Broken Promises, ComEd built an unparalleled political influence operation to pass the 2011 Energy Infrastructure Modernization Act (EIMA), the law creating automatic “formula” rate hikes. Once built, ComEd continued to use its influence operation to win further windfalls for ComEd and Exelon. One of the best examples was when it returned to the Illinois General Assembly for more profits through a 2013 EIMA trailer bill. In our report, we calculated that this power play resulted in at least $400 million in additional profits for ComEd since the trailer bill passed in 2013, all paid for by ComEd’s customers. With new and additional analysis, we are updating our calculation to over $650 million.

 | by
Ed Mierzwinski
Senior Director, Federal Consumer Program

Twelve years ago today I was in the Rose Garden for the signing of the Credit CARD Act. It ended many unfair practices by banks intended to gouge consumers.

Rarely do we have the chance to hit the lifestyle reset button. Let's use Bike to Work Day as an opportunity to reevaluate our transportation patterns and build a healthier, cleaner world for tomorrow.

 | by
Abe Scarr
Illinois PIRG State Director

Illinois PIRG is calling to end the practice wherein utilities can pass the costs of charitable contributions on to their customers. Charity doesn’t mean giving away someone else’s money. One concern we’ve heard is that ComEd and other utilities may be less generous with their charitable contributions if they are not allowed to pass the cost on to consumers. New research shows that is unlikely.

Why appliances aren’t built to last, and how the E.U. is changing that. 

 | by
Teresa Murray
Consumer Watchdog

While businesses are permitted to charge higher prices in response to market forces, they aren’t allowed in states with price gouging laws to increase prices excessively to take advantage of a emergency such as the pipeline shutdown, a hurricane or the pandemic. 

 | by
Danielle Melgar
Make It Toxic Free Campaign, Advocate

A scorecard released by U.S. PIRG Education Fund found that many popular cosmetic brands score poorly on ingredient safety and disclosure. While companies and governments need to take action to protect consumers, in the meantime, you can take steps to keep your personal care routine safe.