'SMART METERS' - THE NEW SILENT KILLER PARTS 1 and 2
“The electromagnetic field is the perfect secret agent: you cannot see it, you cannot smell it, you cannot hear it, and its effects are slow but relentless.” -By Volter Hertenstein, MP Bavarian Parliament
I ask NWVs to post this column on a Friday because it does require many hours of reading to fully understand the issue. By necessity, this new column is two parts as I'm trying, as I did in my first column, to put as much credible information all together in one place to make it easier for everyone fighting this new silent killer. We're all pressed for time. Thank you to everyone who sent in reference material in our efforts to share the truth and what we can do to stop this madness.
There is a major war being waged in this country, although you'd never know it by the silence from the old, disgraced media (ABC, CBS, NBC) and all the cable "news" networks. This new assault on our bodies and privacy is over another relatively new piece of technology that allegedly will save energy; it will also cost tens of thousands of jobs for meter readers. When I say millions of Americans are up in arms over this, I am not exaggerating.
If you are unfamiliar with this issue, please read my first column first on this to get a full understanding of how dangerous those 'smart meters' are and why you don't want one on your home or business. It contains not only my battle against having one installed on my house (update in Part II), but the very best expert opinions from individuals who have studied wireless RF (radio frequency) for decades:
Since that column was published, my email box has been overflowing with questions, which I will address as best I can in this column. Hundreds of emails describe how people's health has suffered serious deleterious effects after the meters were installed - before the individual even knew about possible dangers to their health. When I say utility companies are forcing this installation of those meters, I am not exaggerating. I know of one instance here in Texas where a utility company installation man forced his way onto the person's property and physically pushed the lady of the house mulitple times (in other words, he assaulted her) in his attempt to install the meter after she told him she did not want the meter installed and to get off her property. I have spoken with her on the phone, but due to legal reasons, cannot be more specific right now.
"The nationwide roll-out of transmitting radio frequency utility meters, known as smart meters, has intensified since the federal push and funding for them came through the Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009. Wisconsin utilities got $21.5 million of the $3.4 billion awarded for smart grid projects, including meter installation. But people who are sensitive to the effects of microwave radiation and electrical fields cannot tolerate the new source of emissions. And some Wisconsin utility companies have been bullying their paying customers who have resisted the installation of smart meters, or requested their removal for health reasons.
"In fact, the chronic bursts or pulsing of smart meters have not been proven to be biologically safe for anyone. Current federal standards are grossly out of date, not taking into account the growing levels of microwave radiation exposure people now get 24/7 from various sources. Furthermore, FDA/FCC standards are based solely on the heating effect of microwave radiation on a large, grown man, ignoring numerous studies that point to other effects, including irregular heartbeats, melatonin depletion, which affects sleep, and abnormal mast cell proliferation, which affects the immune system and inflammation levels."
Here are just two examples from California:
"Despite Public Outcry, Sheriff Refuses to Enforce County Law Banning Wireless Network - Santa Cruz, CA- "This morning at approximately 7:45am, Santa Cruz County Sheriff's Deputies responded to a “smart” meter protest at the Wellington Energy yard at 38th and Portola in the unincorporated Opal Cliffs area of Santa Cruz County where PG&E contractors Wellington Energy are based. Wellington has been installing wireless “smart” meters throughout the county, violating ordinances in Capitola, Watsonville, and the County that prohibit installations due to urgent concerns about health impacts from the meters’ wireless pulses, which have been measured at 100 times the strength of a cell phone, as well as privacy violations, ongoing accuracy issues and a series of fires and explosions caused by the new meters.
"Thousands of people have submitted written health complaints to the California Public Utilities Commission (CPUC), and in May the World Health Organization made an earth shattering declaration- that non-ionizing radiation from cell phones, cell towers, wifi, and “smart” meters, has been linked with a number of cancers. “Smart” meter radiation is now categorized as a class 2b carcinogen in the same cancer causing category as lead, DDT, and engine exhaust. Nevertheless, PG&E continues to maintain that their meters are safe."
Two More Arrested at Santa Cruz County Smart Meter Protest - PG&E Covering Logo on Trucks to Sneak into Backyards as Illegal Installations Begin
Santa Cruz County, Calif.- "Two people were arrested Friday afternoon by Santa Cruz County Sheriff's Dept. for peacefully blocking smart meter installation trucks as they attempted to drive out of a yard in the Pleasure Point neighborhood of Santa Cruz County. PG&E has stated that they do not intend to respect laws in Santa Cruz County, Capitola, and Watsonville that prohibit wireless meter installation- laws that were passed to protect the public from identified health and safety risks from the new meters. The two protesters who are affiliated with StopSmartMeters! were charged with misdemeanor obstruction, and released with court date in August."
Why are utility companies pushing so hard to install one of those dangerous meters on every house, apartment, retail and commercial building in this country? Because of something called the $2 trillion dollar 'Smart grid' and BIG money. Advocates for the 'smart meters' (especially those who stand to make billions of dollars destroying your body) claim they save energy. One State Attorney General doesn't see it that way:
Jepsen Urges State Regulators to Reject CL & Ps Plan to Replace Electric Meters
February 8, 2011
"To evaluate the technical capabilities and reliability of the advanced metering system, state regulators previously approved a limited study of 10,000 meters. Between June 1 and Aug. 31, 2009, CL&P tested the meters on 1,251 residential and 1,186 small commercial and industrial customers, who volunteered and were paid for their participation in the study. The company reported its results to the DPUC on Feb. 25, 2010. "The pilot results showed no beneficial impact on total energy usage," Jepsen said."
In addition to to the serious health risks from 'smart meters', the other major issue people have is privacy.
"The demand portion includes how to control energy inside the consumer space: smart meters on buildings, smart thermostats and smart appliances, to name a few." How to control your energy use in your own home. "In the initial stages of smart-grid development, companies, governments and consumers have focused on changing attitudes on the demand side, Geschickter says." Conditioning by those who will control how much power is "allowed" into your home, apartment, business. 'Smart meters' are nothing but surveillance without a warrant.
"This is federal coercion on a grand scale. President Obama is pushing to expose most U.S. citizens to constant radiofrequency/lectromagnetic radiation (RF/EMR) everywhere. Wireless broadband sends RF/EMR throughout an area rather than directly through a shielded wire or cable to the electronic device being used. Constantly exposing everyone inside and outside of their homes and workplaces in over 98% of the U.S. to unprecedented levels and frequencies of RF/EMR with wireless signals is a dangerous, unsanctioned, mass experiment done without consent that must not occur. This initiative risks our finances, our health, privacy, cyber security, the ability of people with medical device implants to function and more.
"If this radiation were a drug, increasing the dose and type would not be allowed without thorough evaluation of safety because like drugs, it can cause changes in the biology of the body. This radiation promotes degenerative diseases and premature aging even at levels of RF/EMR below FCC limits. Numerous other risks to human health from radiofrequency/microwave (RF/MW) radiation exposure, particularly to children and persons with disabilities, at levels below the current FCC limits are summarized in the review articles published in the March 2009 issue of Pathophysiology that are based on The BioInitiative Report: A Rationale for a Biologically-based Public Exposure Standard for Electromagnetic Fields (ELF and RF) (The BioInitiative Report).
"Many people who have developed a hypersensitivity to this form of radiation and struggle to shield themselves from increasing levels of this energy throughout the United States wonder where they can go to escape from the widespread wireless radiation of this proposal.
Smart meters send and receive wireless RF/MW signals throughout homes and businesses. These smart meter RF/MW levels are far higher than those already reported to cause health risks. Compliance is not safety, since the existing FCC safety limits are under challenge, and have already been called ‘insufficient to protect public health’ by some federal agencies.
"Medical Device Malfunction Risk from Electromagnetic Interference. Wireless broadband RF/MW radiation can cause medical devices to malfunction. Medical implants such as those to control the shaking of Parkinson’s disease are turned off by the electromagnetic interference(EMI) caused by the signal. Spurious RF signals are already reported in published studies to interfere with critical care equipment, ventilators, pain pumps, wireless insulin pumps and other medical devices."
Dirty Electricity - "Dirty Electricity tells the story of Dr. Samuel Milham, the scientist who first alerted the world about the frightening link between occupational exposure to electromagnetic fields, electromagnetic pollution, and human disease. Milham takes readers through his early years and education, following the twisting path that led to his discovery that most of the twentieth century diseases of civilization, including cancer, cardiovascular disease, diabetes, and suicide, are caused by electromagnetic field exposure." Very important.
Consumers Are Getting Sick From Wireless Smart Meters
Last year, one state says no to 'Smart Grid' --- for now
Hawaii regulators scuttle plan for expanded rollout of smart grid technology
HONOLULU (AP) -- "Hawaii regulators have rejected plans for a broad expansion of smart grid electric technology that would have been paid for by residents and businesses. Hawaiian Electric Co., the state's primary utility, had envisioned a $115 million smart grid project reaching 451,000 locations on Oahu, Maui and the Big Island. But the utility's proposal fell apart when the Hawaii Public Utilities Commission on Monday denied a request for expanded testing of the technology on Oahu. The "smart grid" concept relies on installing new electric meters that can wirelessly communicate with the utility, allowing it to better distribute power and handle additional renewable energy."
Maryland PSC Denies BGE’s Stimulus-Funded Smart Meter Request - June 23, 2010
"The Maryland Public Service Commission (PSC) on Monday issued an order denying Baltimore Gas & Electric Co.’s (BGE’s) application to deploy smart meters to all its customers because ratepayers would be saddled with financial and technological risks. The move “deeply disappointed, frustrated, and frankly surprised” the utility, because the smart grid project had received a $200 million federal stimulus grant from the Department of Energy last October—the largest amount awarded to a utility."
Some progress has been made regarding protecting your privacy (you have to read my first column to get the facts on the mining of data from your home and selling it).
Same threats I have received from Reliant Energy & ONCOR
Propaganda piece: Oncor Brings Smart Grid to 3 Million Texans, Privacy Intact
Texas - Smart Meter Data Belongs to the Customer - March 17, 2011
"In Texas, lawmakers actually did something good related to the smart meter debacle– they included in the law that the data about your electricity usage belongs to you, the customer."
Can the data still be harvested from third parties tapping into the wireless transmission? I am told yes and it is happening.
After the cow is out of the barn:
"Many young companies have sprung up based on being able to access consumers’ Smart Meter data and package it in some meaningful form."
"Public utility companies are really hot right now for smart grids -- electrical grids that use Internet technology and special meters to make energy delivery more efficient. However, they're getting static from both lawmakers and security researchers who say they're dragging their feet in making sure their systems are secure.
"Despite reports earlier this year about spies penetrating the computers that help control America's electrical grid, utility companies appear to be slow in clamping down on security, and that perception has led to a tongue-lashing from a House of Representatives committee.
"U.S. Rep. Yvette Clarke (D, N.Y.) as accused the utilities of exploiting a loophole that allows them to avoid complying with Federal cybersecurity requirements. Also, a security researcher's revelations of flaws in the smart meters utilities are installing throughout the country added fuel to the fire."
That report was back in August 2009 and California has just now gotten around to issuing guidelines regarding data mining? Lovely.
As I mentioned in my first column, several individuals got together, pooled their money and hired an energy attorney to represent them at a hearing in front of the Maine PUC (Public Utility Commission). They won; here is the press release:
Of course, the "customer" out there in Maine has to pay a price for opting out to protect their health: "Choosing a digital smart meter with the wireless transmitter turned off will carry an initial charge of $20, plus a monthly charge of $10.50. Keeping an existing mechanical meter will cost $40 upfront, plus $12 a month. The cost of relocating an existing meter is highly variable, but typically expensive." Shame on those commissioners for sticking to the people of their state instead of forcing the utility company to replace the meter with an old analog meter at no cost to the consumer.
PART TWO: Can you opt out of having a 'smart meter' in your state? What if I already have one installed? Should I file a lawsuit? Is there a state or federal law requiring a 'smart meter' be installed on your home or business? Update on my case. For part two click below.
PART 2 of 2
September 2, 2011
At the end of Part I , I posed these questions:
Can you opt out of having a 'smart meter' in your state?
What if I already have one installed? Should I file a lawsuit?
Is there a state or federal law requiring a 'smart meter' be installed on your home or business?
This mess is a complicated issue with states around the country doing one thing while another is doing nothing.
Regarding lawsuits: One thing I have learned over the past two decades from brilliant constitutional attorneys who have become dear friends - never, ever go into court poorly prepared because the end result is bad case law on the books.
We when feel threatened or harmed, the first inclination is to file a lawsuit. But, due to millions of laws on the books at both the federal and state level, one becomes frustrated and driven to insanity by tracing one statute to the next from one bureaucracy to another. Here in Texas, a lawsuit over the 'smart meter' failed because of jurisdiction. On Aug. 13, 2010, Texas Civil District Court judge Lorraine Raggio dismissed a class action lawsuit against ONCOR. That case was about new smart meters overcharging customers by ONCOR. Judge Raggio ruled that the Public Utility Commission of Texas (PUCT) was the entity that had to be approached for looking into and ruling on the accuracy of the meters.
There was another unsuccessful lawsuit filed earlier this year, Cynthia Johnson v ONCOR, which had a lot of good arguments, but, again, wrong jurisdiction. There is a central theme regarding the 'smart meter' onslaught which appears in the filings in the Johnson case. The first I read about it was in the letter from ONCOR to me:
In ONCOR's response to Ms. Johnson, they, of course, make the claim there are no health risks involved, but also bring forward the pesky little jurisdictional issue - page 18. ONCOR falls under the jurisdiction of the Texas PUC. On page 20, the discussion begins regarding something known as PURA. As you can see on page one of the letter to me from ONCOR, they talk about PURPA. All of this revolves around whether or not there is a federal or state law which requires anyone to have the specific 'smart meter'. Now, I spent a considerable amount of time researching this, including the law cited by ONCOR in their letter to me, H.B. 2129, which uses the word "encourages" not mandatory.
I also was sent this very valuable piece of comprehensive research on this important question:
How about here in Texas? In ONCOR's letter, they site the previously mentioned bill, H.B. 2129
Please note this part of that law:
SECTION 6. Chapter 31, Utilities Code, is amended by adding Section 31.005 to read as follows:
Sec. 31.005. CUSTOMER-OPTION PROGRAMS. (a) This section applies to:
(1) a municipally owned electric utility;
(2) an electric cooperative;
(3) an electric utility;
(4) a power marketer;
(5) a retail electric provider; and
(6) a transmission and distribution utility.
(5) a program that encourages the deployment of advanced electricity meters;
Encourages does not mean mandatory.
On August 29, 2011, my state representative, Jim Landtroop, forwarded me email from Gabriel Cardenas, Legislative Assistant, Governmental Relations Division, Public Utility Commission of Texas, who opened his email with this statement:
As you may know, in 2005, the federal government passed legislation that required states to consider the adoption of advanced metering infrastructure (Energy Policy Act of 2005). That same year, the Texas Legislature adopted law that encouraged the deployment of new advanced metering technology.
The Public Utility Commission of Texas (PUC) then established standards for the features and deployment of the smart meters (PUC Substantive Rules 25.130.
Consider and encouraged does not mean mandatory.
Going to the URL provided by Mr. Cardenas, here, one sees this on page one for 25.130:
(d) Deployment and use of advanced meters.
(1) Deployment and use of AMS by an electric utility is voluntary unless otherwise ordered by the commission.
So far, I cannot find any such order by the Texas PUC.
There is one other source I need to cite and wish to thank Debra Medina (who ran for Governor here last year against Rick Perry; I voted for her) for bringing it to my attention: Texas Utilities Code - Section 39.107.
Metering And Billing Services
Debra was told by JP Urban at the PUC that Sec. 39.107 of the Utilities Code provides the authority for installation of the meters and in fact, "he said, was the directive to install the meters." Debra disagrees with his statement and after reading it, so do I.
Now, let's go back to page two of ONCOR's letter to me (image above). They provide fine print stating they have the right to enter a retail customer's premises to do this that and the other. I am not a retail premise nor is my personal residence.
So, where do we stand legally? Citizens in dozens of states are fighting with their utility companies. They are sending letters telling the utility company to stay off their property. They are putting locks on their old analog meters so a utility company's installer can't removetheir old meter. They are spending money to purchase kits ($299.00) in an effort to keep the 'smart meter' from functioning the way it is supposed to when installed. However, in my opinion, the utility companies are going to find out and come after the homeowner for tampering with their equipment and then the homeowner will have even more legal problems.
First thing you must do is research the rules and laws set by your state's PUC (Public Utility Commission).
The aforementioned lawsuits were thrown out because the plaintiffs did not take their case to the PUC first. I can't tell anyone what to do, but based on those couple of court decisions already on the books, I would not recommend filing a lawsuit until you exhaust your right to petition your state PUC and see what they rule. You can retain legal counsel and ask others in your state to become petitioners (see below). There are a lot of lawyer jokes out there, but when you're dealing with state bureaucracies where billions of dollars (and political cloud is purchased by lobbyists), you absolutely need qualified legal counsel to represent you.
Many folks are printing out some of the expert opinions listed at the bottom of my first column and presenting them at city council meetings to let folks know how dangerous those meters are. However, as has been the case over and over in California with almost two dozencounties banning the meters, I'm afraid it's largely symbolic as it all goes back to the PUC. Out there, PG & E continues to install those meters regardless of what city councils have voted because they know the California PUC has jurisdiction. It's good to attend a city council meeting and hand out a nice flyer with facts, but the real fight has to be with your state PUC first while you petition your state representative.
I recommend you write a snail mail letter to your state representative (regardless if they're out of session or not) if you have or are experiencing new health issues that did not exist before the 'smart meter' was attached to your home. List your new health problems. Tell your state representative that your legislature must step up now and pass a simple law that says no citizen, owner of an apartment building or retail or commercial building can be forced to have one of those 'smart meters' forcibly installed. You can print out (or simply dump all onto a CD) the expert opinions provided at the bottom of my first column and include it with your letter. Putting it onto a CD is more cost effective and your state rep can just pop it into his/her computer. Politely remind your state rep next year is an election year and do they want one of those dangerous things on their home?
You can notify your utility carrier that you refuse to have them install the meter, but, they can and will shut off your power.
As I said in my first column, the only reason there isn't a 'smart meter' now attached to my home is I have locks on my six foot fences and ONCOR can't get into the back yard unless I unlock the gates. At this point in time, they have lied about access to our home, but that will be addressed at our hearing. Here in Texas, the PUC has a law on the books that utility companies cannot shut off the power to a home that has a disabled person residing there. That is the only thing that has kept ONCOR from flipping the switch and turning off my power because my husband has a long list of serious health problems. ONCOR was notified of this prior to their July 20, 2011, letter via certified mail.
Of course, that didn't stop ONCOR in their letter; image two at the bottom of the page where they threaten to 'suspend' delivery of power to my home knowing full well they would be in violation of PUC law. My case can be the second landmark case in the country. Texas is a huge state compared to Maine as far as getting a favorable decision for the rest of the country. PUC's watch what other ones are doing throughout the country.
If you read my first column, you know I have retained legal counsel to present our arguments to the Texas PUC. My husband and I are petitioners. Hiring legal counsel costs a great deal of money and like many, John and I live on a fixed income. A few people have comeforward who are able to contribute financially to my case and are now petitioners. They have sent their checks in various amounts. We are pooling those funds so the financial burden gets shared, just as the folks did in Maine. Tommy Cryer is our attorney representing us as petitioners. He will be filing for a hearing in front of the Texas PUC. I am still gathering some documentation for him and checking a few more things with the Texas PUC, so this isn't going to happen tomorrow. We only have one shot at this so we need to be fully prepared.
If you would like to become a petitioner in my case as a few others have done, please contact me by email: email@example.com and I will give you the specifics as well as what we can expect as far as the financial burden. In the end, John and I will be responsible if not enough funds are available at the end of the case. But, the more petitioners we have who can contribute financially to the legal defense fund, well, the easier it will be for all of us. I have been doing all the research so far regarding health issues and the information provided above regarding laws here in Texas to cut down on billable hours, but Tommy will have to do the legal part.
To date, the utility companies here in Texas (and elsewhere) are simply picking people off one by one. The more numbers we have as petitioners in front of the PUC, the more clout we will have and not just financially.
If you decide to join my case here in Texas and become a petitioner, you will not have to appear at the hearing as Tommy will be representing all of us. No hearing date is set yet, but all petitioners in my case will be kept up to date as we carefully proceed.
If you live in the State of Texas, this case is very important and can have a tremendous impact in other states. We will have two issues before the PUC:
1. Can any utility company in Texas force you to allow them to install a 'smart meter' on your home against your wishes even though there is no federal or state law requiring installation?
With the amount of expert opinions warning 'smart meters' are a "ticking time bomb against human beings," I believe we can win this argument because as far as I can find from all my research, there is no mandatory requirement for the specific 'smart meter'. This is all about massive amounts of money for the utility companies and that 'smart grid'.
2. Your utility company installed a 'smart meter' on your property without your knowledge and without informing you of the very real risks involved. Can the Texas PUC legally force the utility company to remove the 'smart meter' and reinstall the analog meters (which I have on my house? Can the PUC force the cost of such replacement onto the utility company or will the people in Texas get reamed like they did in Maine as discussed above?
If you are unable, and I do understand, to become a petitioner in my case, perhaps you can make a donation that's comfortable for your situation. As long time readers of my columns and old newsletter dating back to the mid-1990s know, I am always up front in projects I undertake and for the rare occasion when I ask for donations, every penny goes only for that project. If you would like to make a donation, which will be greatly appreciated, please send your check or MO to:
Tommy Cryer Attorney at Law
7330 Fern Ave., Suite 1102
Shreveport, LA 71105
In the memo section, please write: smart meter defense fund