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Report | U.S. PIRG | Financial Reform

Big Banks, Bigger Fees

Since Congress largely deregulated consumer deposit (checking and savings) accounts beginning in the early 1980s, the PIRGs have tracked bank deposit account fee changes and documented the banks’ long-term strategy to raise fees, invent new fees and make it harder to avoid fees. 

Over the last six months, PIRG staff conducted inquiries at 392 bank branches in 21 states and reviewed bank fees online in 12 others. This report, “Big Banks, Bigger Fees: A National Survey of Bank Fees and Fee Disclosure Policies,” examines the following questions: 

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News Release | NCPIRG | Tax

Obama Budget Proposes Important First Cuts to Ag Subsidies

Statement of NCPIRG Federal Public Health Advocate Elizabeth Hitchcock on the President’s proposed 2012 budget, which includes more than $1 billion in cuts over five years to agriculture subsidies that are achieved by reducing the cap on Department of Agriculture direct payments and tightening eligibility standards.

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News Release | NCPIRG | Food

Cutting Ag Subsidies Key to Implementing USDA’s Dietary Recommendations

Statement of Elizabeth Hitchcock, NCPIRG Federal Public Health Advocate on the USDA’s announcement of new Dietary Guidelines for Americans.

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News Release | U.S. PIRG | Food

President Signs Historic Food Safety Bill

Statement of U.S. PIRG Public Health Advocate Liz Hitchcock on the FDA Food Safety Modernization Act that President Obama signed into law on January 4th, strengthening the Food and Drug Administration’s food safety authority for the first time in seventy years.

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Result | Public Health

KIDS’ SCHOOL LUNCHES NOW SAFER

For years, America’s schoolchildren have been eating beef, chicken and other foods that would have been rejected as substandard even by fast food chains. Thanks in part to our advocacy, the U.S.D.A. has stopped buying such low-quality meat for school lunches.

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Save-A-Watt costly, saves little

Duke Energy has proposed a new version of an “energy-efficiency” program. The proposal, called Save-A-Watt, would be wildly expensive but provide little energy savings. Not only would Duke be paid for the cost of the program, but also for 90 percent of the cost of power plants it doesn't have to build.

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Teams push ticket scalping

The Carolina Hurricanes and other pro sports franchises are supporting a bill that would let fans buy scalped tickets over the Internet for North Carolina games and shows.

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Progress asks $42M a year to cover energy-saving plan

Progress Energy now awaits regulatory approval of a slate of efficiency programs, all aimed at reducing the amount of energy the utility must produce to meet demand. The programs range from cycling air conditioner use at homes to promoting construction that meets federal Energy Star standards.

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A 'green coal baron'?

Some readers of a recent New York Times Magazine profile of Duke Energy CEO Jim Rogers were no doubt surprised by the piece. If its title, "A Green Coal Baron?" flummoxed some readers, the article's general thrust likely have frustrated others.

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N.C. Public Staff challenges Progress Energy bid for flight rate

Under Progress Energy's plans to recover from ratepayers its costs for investing in renewable energy, a studio apartment resident would pay the same as the resident of a palatial home whose monthly electricity usage reaches 40,000 kilowat hours.

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