In 2007 Congress passed the Energy Independence Act, with the goal of reducing our nation’s dependance on foreign oil, and reducing unnecessary carbon emissions. These are worthy goals to be sure and can be met in part by developing new domestic and renewable sources of energy as well as by practicing sensible conservation measures – and all without sacrificing our standard of living, our health and our 4th Amendment rights.
We believe that Congress outlawing incandescent light bulbs is not consistent with American values. Moreover the alternative, compact fluorescent lamps (CFLs) are not green. They will result in mercury contamination in our homes and in our landfills.
We believe there are many smart grid projects that should be implemented to make the electricity grid more reliable. But ‘smart’ meters should not be one of those projects. There are better ways than this ill conceived technology to achieve conservation goals and shift consumption away from peak load hours. We can have a national conversation about the right way to achieve the broader goals after we have defeated this assault on our homes, our lifestyles and our Constitutional rights.
If you took action to keep a ‘smart’ meter off your own home that is a good start – that alone will protect your privacy and it will reduce your radiation exposure. However you will be getting radio waves 24/7 from the meters of all your neighbors. It may well be, in some cases, that a next door neighbor’s smart meter is closer to your child’s bedroom than your own meter!
Talk to Your City Council:
As activists we have gone from city to city, hooking up with concerned citizens in each city we visit, and joining with them to address the city councils in their regularly scheduled public meetings, which are often telecast for viewing by the local residents.
Why city councils? Because these are leaders that are much closer to their communities than any official in Lansing. Our experience has been that they will listen! In every city that we have visited we have been able to achieve a unanimous resolution asking the Michigan Public Services Commission (MPSC) to launch an investigation into the health and privacy concerns expressed by residents and to put in place some sort of temporary moratorium on further installations at least until such investigation is completed. We have resolutions from 9 city councils so far and that is the stated reason the MPSC has opened an investigation as of January 12, 2012.
Since an investigation has now begun, do we still need more cities? YES! It needs to be kept in mind that the MPSC normally works very closely with the utilities it regulates and that this commission was completely negligent a year ago in giving a tacit green light to these utilities and agreeing to let the utilities recoup the costs of the smart meters from residents. This was done without any investigation of the health or privacy issues with the meters. An investigation has begun now only because the commission has been overwhelmed with feedback from city governments and because some of those city governments have considered or actually enacted bans of their own. There will be strong pressure on the MPSC from the utility companies to give a clean bill of health to a program where 650,000 meters have already been installed! There will be strong political pressures within the MPSC itself to try to reach a conclusion that will vindicate their earlier decision.
What can You do? You can join with others in your community to persuade still more city councils and to gain broader public awareness of the issues. We would love to hear from concerned residents in every large city in Michigan. We will try to help you if we can.
What are our goals now?
- Create and maintain an atmosphere for the next six months that will persuade the MPSC to run a real investigation and issue objective findings, not pre-ordained conclusions to satisfy the political pressures.
- Persuade the MPSC to order at least a temporary halt to further installations until it’s investigation is complete and a final report has issued. If this is not done an awful lot more meters will have been installed before the investigation reaches its conclusions in June.
- If the MPSC will not enact a temporary moratorium, we must persuade city governments to do so.
What Else Can You Do?
- Write letters to the editor of each newspaper that is widely read in your area.
- Write letters to your representatives in Lansing.
- Talk up the issue in any church or community organizations to which you may belong.
- Let us know who you are and what city you are from – use the “Comments” box on any of our pages to give us feedback. You can comment anonymously, but we would prefer your comment include mention of your city and that you give us your first name, along with your email. Your email will not be displayed on the public website. If you don’t want your full name to show then be sure to give only a first name.
- Keep us updated when a city council acts or when a letter to the editor gets published – we would love to report all these stories on this website!