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October 5th, 2017 – Warren Woodward Wins Smart Meter Battle at Arizona Court of AppealsUnanimous decision by COA opens the way for public disclosure of corruption by the Arizona utility commission (ACC) and the Arizona Dept of Public Health. The two state agencies had conspired together to publish a false report alleging no health problems with smart meters. Mr. Woodward used the Freedom of Information Act to obtain documents showing such conspiracy. Heavily redacted documents were provided to him by the two agencies. He took both agencies to court to force disclosure of the redacted material. A trial court judge gave him the unredacted documents but placed a gag order on his public disclosure of same. The Court of Appeals unanimously ruled that the gag order was improper and that Woodward is now free to publicly disclose the unredacted documents. The case was remanded back to the trial court for further proceedings consistent with the appeals court decision.

This case shows what can be accomplished by a determined and disciplined individual who persists and persists. The value to our smart meter resistance movement is that the Arizona public will now learn that no honest health study was ever done and that an attempt to fake such a study was made instead. This will undermine public confidence in the whole smart meter program.

Click here for account in the Arizona Capitol Times.

Click here for the Appeals Court opinion and decision.

 

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Michigan_state_capitol
DON’T MISS THIS!!!

Tuesday,
December 2nd, 2014.

Smart Meter Hearing before the House Oversight Committee. Other events planned for earlier in the day.

If you can attend only the hearing come at 3 pm to Room 519 in the Anderson House Office Buildingat 124 North Capitol Avenue (across the street from the Capitol Building). Come to speak or come just to show your support! This will be an opportunity for all of us who have concerns about smart electric meters to come and have our say before a legislative committee.

It is also an opportunity to submit evidence or documents for consideration by the Committee.  Be sure to bring 30 copies of anything you plan to submit. Your presence at the hearing will help to show the legislators that there is strong support for our positions.  If possible wear something red (or wear a red ribbon that will be available at the door).  This hearing will be videotaped and may be up on the Committee website later.

This Committee is chaired by Rep Tom McMillin. It can only begin its hearing after the House session (across the street) ends. So actual starting time could be anywhere from 3 pm to 5 pm.  Upon arrival, check in with guard.  If the hearing room is not yet open when you arrive, congregate with others in the lobby on the main floor until the room opens. It is most important that we have as many as possible – particularly during the first hour of the hearing when news media will be present.

Tom has assured us that this hearing will run as long as necessary to give every person a chance to speak for the record!  Hearing may run late into the evening.

We particularly want your testimony on the record if you have been made ill by a smart meter, can no longer sleep in your own bed, had your power shutoff or been threatened with shutoff of your power for refusing to take a smart meter. Your input also needed if you have sought redress for any of these grievances from the Public Service Commission and been denied their help! The Chairman of the Public Service Commission has been invited as have representatives from DTE and Consumers Energy. We are hopeful that large numbers of you will come and make your voices heard!  If you have doctor’s letters or other written evidence you want submitted to the record, please be sure to bring 15 copies 30 copies for submission to the Committee.

The Purpose of this Hearing: Everyone should understand that the McMillin smart meter bill is still stuck in the House Energy Committee and will almost certainly die at the end of the year. This hearing, on the other hand, will be about establishing a record of evidence concerning the smart meter issues and the failure of the Public Service Commission in addressing those issues.  It has at least the possibility of leading to bills to be introduced in the next session of the legislature beginning in January. It is also a good opportunity for us to get our concerns reported by the press.

Official Things To Bring (30 copies of each for Committee):
Doctor’s letters
DTE shut off notices or threatening notices
Records of calls or threatening phone calls
Records of encounters with DTE
Anything you have to tell your story or substantiate your claims
Letters or literature for house representative and senators

Other Activities Planned for That Day: If you are planning on coming for the hearing you may also want to come earlier in the day and join us for other protest activity planned by Pam Wallace and Dee Hilbert.  If you come at noon that day you can join us for a demonstration in front of the Capitol building.  The Capitol building is at 110 South Capitol Avenue (at the corner of Capitol Ave and Michigan Ave) Please bring a sign and wear warm clothing. In the morning some of us will be in the Senate lobby having our Senator called out of session by the Sergeant at Arms to talk with us about smart meter legislation.  In the early afternoon some of us will be in the House lobby having our Representative called out of session by the Sergeant at Arms to talk about smart meters.

RSVP: Please help Pam and Dee by sending an RSVP to them to let them know you will be attending the event/hearing, if you plan to testify and how many people you plan to have with you.- thank you. pamandandy22@yahoo.com or kipdee@wowway.com

If you plan to join us for the full day of activities please be sure to bring water, food and a snack. Tom has arranged for us to have Room 426 in the Capitol building to gather during the day. The room will allow us to rest, warm up and visit during our time at the Capitol. Here is the schedule for those who will be with us all day:

9:30:  meet in Lansing at the state capital. Check in with guard who will direct you to Room 426 reserved for us by Rep Tom McMillin.
10:00: smart meter rally at the state capital with themed signs and information to pass out to senators as they enter the capital for session.
10:00-12:15: pull out your senator from session to share your concerns about smart meters and request help and protective legislation.
12:15 meet at Room 426 in Capitol building.
12:30: smart meter rally at the state capital with themed signs and information to pass out to our state representatives as they enter the capital for session.
12:30-3:00: pull out your state representative from session to share your concerns about smart meters and request help and protective legislation.
3:00/4:45 and on: smart meter hearing will be held at the Anderson House office building (directly across from the capital) in Room 519. The hearing will begin right after the house session and the start time will range anytime from 3:00-4:45.
If you plan to take part in these activities all day it will be important to bring water, food and a snack.  Also bring a sign to carry for our outdoor demonstrations.
Themes And Messages
Our themes for our rally signs and for our talks with legislators are:
I Am Sick Because Of My Smart Meter
Smart Meters Are Making People Sick
Smart Meters Cause Fires
Oregon, Washington, Maine and Vermont Have Analog Opt- Outs- Michigan Wants An Analog Opt-Out Too!
I Am Living Without Power-DTE Shut My Power Off
DTE Is Threatening To Shut Off My Power
I Had To Leave My Home Due To A Smart Meter
What Are You Going To Do To Help Us?
When Are You Going To Help Us?
Smart Meters Are An Invasion Of Privacy
The World Heath Organization Has Classified Smart Meter Radiation As a Type 2 Carcinogen. They Are Not Safe.

Capitol overview

 

Directions to Capitol from Detroit area:  Take I 96 to I 496 West, then exit 7A service drive to right turn on Grand Ave (headed north 1-way) to left turn on Ottawa (headed west 1-way) to left turn on Walnut Street (headed south) to left turn on Allegan Street (headed east 1-way) to parking structure on Allegan street. You will be right next to Capitol and 1 block from the Anderson House Office Building.

Capitol detail

 

 

 

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February 16th, 2012 – Representative Tom McMillin (R) of Rochester introduced today, along with 8 co-sponsors, proposed smart meter opt-out legislation in the Michigan House of Representatives.  The bill, known as H.B. 5411, contains a whole series of prohibitions against the electric utility companies of the state with regard to what are termed “advanced meters” and directs the Michigan Public Services Commission (MPSC) to enforce these prohibitions.

The bill prohibits any such utility from (a) requiring a customer to accept an “advanced meter”, (b) from refusing to remove one if already installed, or (c) from “imposing any disincentive on a customer for not accepting the installation or use of an ‘advanced meter’.”

For those customers who do accept an “advanced meter”, the bill would prohibit the utility from collecting data from the meter more often than once per month “unless requested by the customer”, and would further prohibit the giving of “any meter use data from an advanced meter to any person other than the utility.”

The bill has been referred to the Energy and Technology Committee.  We are hopeful the Committee will, after due consideration, forward this bill to the full House for an up or down vote.  If the bill should survive all hurdles and become law, we think some powerful protections will have been put in place to protect the property rights and the Fourth Amendment privacy rights of Michigan homeowners.  We very much appreciate the effort Tom McMillin has put forward to get this bill drafted and to muster the support of so many of his colleagues to co-sponsor.

A provision we would very much like to have seen in this bill would be a “community opt-out” as well as an individual opt-out, at least for those communities where smart meters have not already been installed.  The issue is that an individual who opts out only gains partial protection from the possible electro magnetic effects upon his or her health.  He is still immersed in a sea of such radio radiation produced by all the smart meters of his immediate neighbors.  Only a community opt-out, or a statewide ban, would provide real protection against layering more and more radiation on homes that are already bombarded with radio and tv signals, cell phone tower radiation, and WiFi radiation from all the homes in the area.

Two other provisions we don’t see in the bill are a mandate that the MPSC conduct a proper investigation of the health effects of the meters, or a moratorium on further installs pending the results of such an investigation.  We know that the current investigation by MPSC has, despite the pleas of nine city governments, been designed to exclude health effects and to make no provision for halting or slowing ongoing installations.

The bill defines what “advanced meter” means.  We would like to have seen a definition that would encompass all the variations of ‘smart’ metering that a utility might install – so that the utility not be able to escape the requirements of this proposed law just by, for example, turning off the radio feature, while still tracking granular usage data to be uploaded by different means.  We are recommending that a definition be made that is more along the lines of that published by the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE).

Still this bill is a start – a big first step.  Our hats are off to Rep. McMillin and his eight Republican colleagues who co-sponsored.  They seem to have focused on the property rights and Fourth Amendment issues. We do not see smart meters as a partisan issue, however, and would hope that Democrats in the House might introduce their own proposal that would broaden the final legislation to include more focus on the health effects and possible remedies for that.

To read the actual proposed legislation, click here.

MPSC SLEIGHT OF HAND

Aside

January 26, 2012, Revised February 3rd Sadly we must report that our earlier optimism concerning the investigation of ‘smart’ meters by the Michigan Public Service Commission (MPSC) may not have been warranted.  We thought there was hope they would give us a fair and transparent review of our smart meter complaints.  After all nine city governments had asked for a proper investigation and eight of those governments had specifically mentioned they wanted the health effects thoroughly considered.   Health effects have been a big part of the public uproar.

Yet a careful re-reading of the Commission’s Order of January 12th indicates that health effects were not included in the list of issues to be considered.  And we think we have discovered the reason for this.

The Commission actually defines the scope of its Order by the way in which it summarizes the concerns expressed by the nine city governments.  Instead of an accurate restatement of what the cities are all asking for we see this curious language: “investigate the safety of the physical attachment of a smart meter to a residential dwelling house”.  None of the nine city governments used such a phrase.  Rather nearly all of them had specifically asked for a review of the “health and safety” issues related to smart meters.  The use by the various cities of both the words “health” and “safety” clearly indicates that, in the minds of city officials, these two words mean two different things.

The directions in the Order to the various utilities, and to its own staff when preparing the final report, refer back to the issues as (inaccurately) phrased in the summary of what the cities requested.

(The above two paragraphs were added at the suggestion of one of our members to add additional clarity)

Nearly all of the nine city governments also asked the Commission to put a hold on any further deployments until the Commission could complete a thorough review.  But there is no hold – and the utilities have made it plain they are going forward full speed.  By the time this investigation winds up in June DTE alone might well have installed another half million meters.  If the Commission thought there was any real chance they were going to find the privacy or safety protections inadequate would they not want to prevent any more damage being done until their investigation is complete?

The key to why health effects were excluded from the present study we think is to be found in a study the Commission ordered from its own staff last summer culminating in a report dated August 3rd, 2011.  The report was titled “REPORT ON THE IMPACT OF RADIO FREQUENCY EMISSIONS FROM SMART METERS”.  A link to the full text of that report may be found at the end of this article.

The report concludes with the statement “Staff has concluded that RF emissions from smart meters have been shown to be in compliance with FCC standards and these standards are sufficient to protect people from potential adverse health and safety effects.”  Since the Commission has already made up its mind on this issue they apparently believe there is no point revisiting it now.

The report states “Commission staff chose to include publications from sources it considered to be the most credible.”  This turned out to mean only 6 sources and 2 of those were industry trade associations whose bias is well known. Another failing of this report was that the staff people involved were evidently unwilling to sign their names to it.  This is an issue of responsibility and accountability.  It also means that the public has no way to judge the particular qualifications of the people making these judgments about which sources are “credible” and which are not.

Though there is a rich literature of respectable scientists who have published in professional journals against electromagnetic radiation at non-thermal levels, the staff chose to ignore all of these.   Two of the non industry affiliated sources used  – the World Health Organization (WHO) and Lawrence Berkley National Lab made cautious statements indicating that the possibility of non-thermal health effects could not be ruled out and merited further study. WHO moreover classified electromagnetic radiation as “possibly carcinogenic to humans.”

Staff’s conclusion includes the words “and safety effects”.  A careful reading of their entire study would show that the question of safety – to the extent that includes issues other than the health effects – was nowhere addressed at all.  A proper consideration of safety effects might include the risk of meters starting fires and the risk that the radiation from the meters might interfere with pacemakers or other sensitive medical equipment.

But there is yet another aspect of this report that is troubling.  The introduction stated that the report was “written in response to health and safety questions from the public concerning RF emissions from wireless smart meters.”  Yet the report was never released to the public, or to those of us who had raised the health and safety questions, nor was it posted on the MPSC’s own website.   We were not aware that staff was working on any such study at the time it was taking place and there was certainly no opportunity for input to the process, or for challenging any of the sources used.

This was in no way an open or transparent process.  The only reason we are in possession of the report now or even know that a report existed was because DTE provided it to the City of Madison Heights recently and the city put it on their public website.

So where does that leave us?  The Commission has now laid out an open process, but that process is to exclude health effects and there will be a powerful temptation to not find any privacy faults in the system because so much money will have been expended already.

Finally the Commission is calling into question its own jurisdiction and its own expertise, implying that it will almost certainly defer to the industry and issue no order that will change anything at the end of the day.

We strongly suspect that unless we can find some way to get the courts or the legislature to intervene, that nothing good will come from this investigation.  We understand that State House Representative Thomas McMillan(R) of Rochester Hills is drafting opt-out legislation.

To read the full report of Commission staff from last August, click here.

MPSC Opens Investigation

January 12, 2012 – Today the Michigan Public Service Commission (MPSC) issued an Order opening an investigation into the health, safety and privacy concerns surrounding ‘smart’ electric meters.  The Commission indicated in its order that the action was in response to objections voiced by individuals at recent public forums and in response to resolutions passed by 9 city governments.   These resolutions were attached as appendices to the Order.  See links at bottom for the Order, the public announcement with explanation how you can comment, and comments posted so far.

The investigation is to run until June with an initial 60 day period in which all electric utilities in the State of Michiganare to file documents stating their Mission and logo of the Michigan Public Service Commissionpositions on the issues in controversy.  Following that will be a 30 day period for public comment in response to the utility company filings.  Finally a period of time is allowed for MPSC staff to sort out all the information and recommend some action to the Commission, possibly culminating in an Order.

The Order asks the utilities to state their position concerning opt-outs and what plans they might have to cover the cost of opt-outs if they intend to offer such a possibility.

Getting such an official investigation started has been one of the primary goals of those of us who oppose the smart meters.  This is what nearly all of the City Councils have asked for – though we would have preferred they enact ordinances banning the devices.

The Order also states that Commission will seek to weigh all the evidence submitted in light of “limitations on our jurisdiction and limitations on our technical competence”

A major concern that we do have about this investigation is that it be rigorous and that the Commission not be too quick to simply defer to the expertise of the industry.  We also do not think it appropriate for the Commission to fail to properly assert the jurisdiction that it clearly does have by statute.

We know that, on the Commission staff, there are many fine public servants who do have expertise and who do share, at least in part, our concerns.  We are hopeful these fine staffers will, to the best of their ability, not allow this investigation to be derailed by political or industry pressures.  We need to help those staffers to keep the investigation on track by keeping up the public pressure and continuing to educate the public and the elected representatives in the state’s capitol.

The Commission’s Order, Case U-17000

The public announcement of the Order with instructions on
how the public may comment.

Public comments posted so far.