Things are moving fast now!
Your presence is needed!
(Extensive revisions made 2/18/17)
Tuesday February 21st and Tuesday March 7th, 2017 are the hearing dates in Lansing! (Date of 2nd hearing corrected!) Last week we reported on the newly formed House Energy Policy Committee under the chairmanship of Rep Gary Glenn. This week Chairman Glenn re-introduced a meter choice bill nearly identical to last year’s bill but under the new number of HB 4220. He has issued a press release announcing two hearings on this proposed legislation, both to take place at 9 am. These will be public hearings where anyone can fill out a card and address the Committee.
We need, first of all, a big turnout so the Committee and the House recognize that a lot of people are affected by this issue. The hearing will last 1-1/2 hours and will be videotaped by House TV. The second hearing on March 7th will give us another 1-1/2 hours.
We need to make sure that key issues are well covered. This bill is being proposed, and will be sold to the legislature primarily on grounds of property rights and privacy, though health issues and risk of fires will also be in focus. The utilities will doubtless have representatives there who will cite experts and conclusions supposedly reached by these experts. To counter that we need to cite experts and present evidence as well as our opinions.
We recognize that a hearing at 9 am on a weekday may be harder for some to attend than the hearing two years ago that started around 5 pm. But please get there if at all possible. If you resisted a smart meter installation because of well-founded privacy concerns, the Committee needs to hear that. That is a thread that needs to run through many of our comments. And if you have a story to tell about how your power was shutoff or your health suffered because of a meter, they need to hear that. If you don’t feel comfortable speaking come anyway! Your presence will help convince wavering legislators! If you will speak, plan to come early and sign up to speak before the start of the meeting!
Hard copy exhibits may also be submitted to the Committee Clerk. If you make a written submission at the hearing, be sure to bring 25 copies so the clerk can distribute to all committee members! For those of you who can’t make the hearing, written exhibits may be submitted to the clerk of the committee: firstname.lastname@example.org
The hearings will be in Room 519 of the Anderson House Office Building at 124 North Capitol Avenue. Again, if you care about meter choice, we need you to be there!
Townsend parking ramp – at corner of Capitol and Allegan streets.
This one is the closest – 2 block walk to House Office Bldg, but sometimes this ramp is open to permit holders only.
North Capitol parking ramp, 316 North Capitol Ave
This one is 2 blocks north of House Office Bldg.
South Capitol parking ramp, 320 South Capitol Ave
This one is 4 blocks south of House Office Bldg.
On street (metered parking) – is available on a number of streets near House Office Bldg. But there is a 2 hour time limit and rate is $1.25/hour.