BILL IN CONGRESS COULD MANDATE SMART METERS NATIONWIDE, TAKE AWAY CONSUMER RIGHT TO OPT OUT IN CA AND OTHER STATES

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Nov 21, 2013 (3 years and 27 days ago)

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BILL IN CONGRESS COULD MANDATE SMART METERS NATIONWIDE, TAKE
AWAY CONSUMER RIGHT TO OPT OUT IN CA AND OTHER STATES


http://eastcountymagazine.org/node/13723


By Miriam Raftery


August 4, 2013 (Washington D.C. )

Two members of Congress (
Jerry McNerney
, D
-

Stockton, CA and
Matt Cartwright
, D
-

PA) have introduced the Smart Grid Advancement
Act of 2013 (
HR 2685
) that would require the Secretary of Energy and the U.S.
Environmental Protection Agency administrator to take designated actions if they find
that us
e of smart grid technologies save energy and money. Congressman Scott Peters
from San Diego (D
-
52) is a cosponsor of the bill.


But opponents say this could require all electricity providers (including rural
cooperatives and municipal utilities) to join th
e ‘smart’ grid and install ‘smart’ meters,
and that it could negate states’ rights to regulate smart meters and wireless appliances.
The bill could lead to an overriding of state laws and regulations that give consumers
power to opt out of having smart met
ers, which produce electro
-
magnetic frequency
radiation that have raised health concerns, opponents warn. It could lead to requiring
energy
-
saving appliances to include wireless transmitters.

You can read the bill and track its progress here:
http://www.govtrack.us/congress/bills/113/hr2685

.


The measure has been assigned to the House Committee on Energy and Commerce’s
Energy and Power subcommittee. No San Diego County representa
tives are on either
the full committee or the subcommittee. However Susan Brinchman, founder of the
Center for Electrosmog Prevention in La Mesa and leader of a national coalition
opposing smart meters, is urging voters to contact their elected officials i
n both the
House and Senate to voice concerns.


The measure also raises privacy as well as health concerns.


The advocacy group
www.stopsmartmeters.org

made the following statement in an e
-
mail t
o its members, warning that besides mandating smart meters on homes, the
measure would “require appliances with the Energy Star label to include wireless
transmitters that cannot be turned off, in order to communicate (and presumably cough
up your private
data and respond to orders from Big Brother Smart Grid to switch you
off at a moment’s notice, as happened to dozens of people in Northern California
recently when
their not
-
so
-
smart
-
AC program cut off their air conditioning at the height
of the recent heat wave
.) The bill would also establish a “smart grid information center”
that would presumably create pro
-
smart
grid propaganda at the taxpayer’s expense.


Sounds like the marriage between industry and government is about to be
consummated
-

unless you take action and restrict this perverse love affair.”

The e
-
mail continues, “If you enjoy being radiated, and having your appliances speak to
the utility and law enforcement, and want to force even small utilities to install smart
meters on an unwilling public, just sit there and do nothing.
If you’d rather n
ot see this
bill passed, make the call today.”


Utility companies have contended that smart grid technology allows more flow of
information to improve efficiency and reliability of the electrical power supply grid. Smart
meters can transmit data that can s
how how and where power is used, data that can be
used to encourage conservation. They can also transmit information on faults to
minimize outages. The U.S. government has set up a website touting the Smart Grid
here:
http://www.smartgrid.gov/the_smart_grid#smart_grid

It c ntends that “Once
mature, the Smart Grid will likely bring the same kind of transformation that the Internet
has already brought to the way we live, work,

play, and learn.”

But some prominent organizations, including the World Health Organization, (WHO)
have raised concerns over potentially harmful health impacts of smart meters and
wireless devices. WHO recently declared wireless radiation a cancer risk. A
cross the
country, thousands of people have complained of headaches, tinnitus and insomnia
following smart
-
meter installation.


Last year, the American Academy of Environmental Medicine called for immediate
caution regarding smart meters "due to potential
ly harmful RF exposure
,
"

according to
Matt Hall, director of StopSmartMeters.org, in an editorial published in the Wall Street
Journal.
http://online
.wsj.com/article/SB10001424127887323415304578368683701371280.html

----------------------------------------------------

You can locate your Congressional representatives
here
. For a summary of the
opposition reasons see
why
.

You can also contact bill authors
Jerry McNerney

(209)
476
-
8552 and
Matt Cartwright

202
-
225
-
5546 and ask them to kill the bill.

If you wish to know whether an appliance will communicate wirelessly, you can look
near the model and serial numbers. Wireless devices contain an FCC number that
starts with FCC. “If you see this, you now that this is an appliance to consider avoiding,”
th
e email from
http://stopsmartmeters.org

advises, also suggesting that consumers let
produce manufacturers know if they are avoiding purchases due to the wireless
technology.