Smart Meter Appeal Oral Arguments To Be Heard By Law Court November 3rd
October 30, 2015
Oral arguments in the ongoing smart meter case will be heard before the Maine Supreme Judicial Court November 3rd. In January, smart meter opponents filed an appeal of the Maine PUC decision that smart meters were safe enough. Three years ago the Maine Law Court, ruling for complainants, ordered the Public Utilities Commission to reach a determination on the health and safety of smart meters. Complainants found multiple faults with the final report issued last December and appealed the decision.
“A PUC opinion can be vacated when it is unreasonable, unjust or unlawful in light of the record” said Ed Friedman, lead complainant. “In this case the Commissioner’s decision is not supported by the evidence record, CMP has not met their burden of proof and neither CMP nor the PUC has successfully ensured safety for all ratepayers as is their statutory mandate.”
In every state and country where smart meters have been or may be installed, there is continued opposition from citizen groups concerned with 24/7 radiation emissions deemed by the World Health Organization to be a possible human carcinogen, invasion of privacy for the electronic records the meters record, theft of personal data, infringement of several constitutional rights and compromising of personal and grid cybersecurity.
Kathleen McGee, one of the complainants, noted the joint opinion conflicts with a separate set of findings by each Commissioner. “The joint decision is illogical based on the record. Neither smart meters nor most opt outs are protective of ratepayers and are in conflict with Maine’s judicial maxim salus populi suprema lex esto-the health of the people is the supreme law.”
Attorneys General in IL and CT have testified against smart meter installations because they don’t believe the meters will save money. The Michigan Attorney General has issued an opinion that utilities lack the authority to charge opt-out fees. Northeastern Utilities in MA, New England’s largest utility said “there is no rational basis for mandating smart meters.” Meanwhile recent CMP rate increases of 4% were tied in part to smart meters, and the PUC opened a new docket to determine how personal data collected by meters should be disseminated.
On October 28 a consortium of advocacy groups filed complaints with Massachusetts Attorney General Maura Healey regarding the Worcester smart meter pilot and Department of Public Utilities smart meter order.
The groups are calling for the Baker administration to investigate the $48M National Grid pilot, financed by ratepayers, as “outcome-oriented research” that manufactured consent, concealed unfavorable data, and manipulated public perception concerning credible science, including claims that smart meters have been “proven safe.”
HaltMAsmartmeters spokesperson Patricia Burke stated, “Industry safety claims are sourced from testimony of one mercenary tobacco scientist from the Gradient Corporation who has contributed to the suffering of millions of people. Electricity is an essential service, not a consumer choice like cigarettes or a particular car model.
In Maine, CMP also depended on industry testimony, this from Exponent, a product defense firm well-known for their defense of tobacco, asbestos, GMO’s, run-away Toyotas, smart meters and most recently, the NFL in “Deflategate.” A number of books have been written about these firms and one by David Michaels describes their tactics well: Doubt is their Product: How Industry’s Assault on Science Threatens Your Health.
Dianne Wilkins another Maine complainant noted “published peer-reviewed independent studies find biological effects from radiofrequency microwave exposure like that from smart meter emissions, 70% of the time. When industry funded studies are analyzed, this number drops to 30%. Even if you accept only 30%, we have a huge public health problem on our hands.”
Not only might we have a health problem, most Americans understand we have a regulatory problem with many agencies influenced by those they regulate. In a new publication released from the Edmond J. Safra Center for Ethics at Harvard University, author Norm Alster examines how the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) is dominated by the industries it presumably regulates: “Let’s be clear. … The problem is not technology, which unarguably brings countless benefits to modern life. The problem is with the over-extension of claims for technology’s usefulness and the worshipful adulation of technology even where it has fearful consequences. Most fundamentally, the problem is the willingness in Washington — for reasons of both venality and naïveté — to give technology a free pass.” Captured Agency, How the Federal Communications Commission Is Dominated by the Industries It Presumably Regulates
“The Emperor has no clothes” said Friedman. “Wireless technology is patently unsafe. It’s time we acknowledge a public health and security emergency the likes of which we have never seen. In Maine the PUC has had seven chances to acknowledge the independent science of microwave radiation effects and has failed miserably. It’s time for the Court to decide this issue. Under no obligation to do so, we have established far more than just doubt as to the CMP and PUC claims of smart meter safety.”
# # #
2015 has yielded many reports and much research showing concern for radiofrequency radiation exposure. Six of our top picks follow as references:
- Nearly 200 Expert EMF Scientists Appeal to UN and WHO New York, NY, May 11, 2015. Today 190 scientists from 39 nations submitted an appeal (click here to read document) to the United Nations, UN member states and the World Health Organization (WHO) requesting they adopt more protective exposure guidelines for electromagnetic fields (EMF) and wireless technology in the face of increasing evidence of risk. These exposures are a rapidly growing form of environmental pollution worldwide. (Read More)
- Department of the Interior calls FCC RF exposure guidelines obsolete and inapplicable. 24 August 2015
- India issues comprehensive report on wildlife effects from communication tower microwaves. 24 August 2015
- Oxidative Mechanisms of Biological Activity of Low-intensity Radiofrequency Radiation-A Review Paper 15 July 2015
- A Canadian Parliamentary Committee today issued a report with 12 recommendations for increased caution, investigations, reporting and data gathering with regard to RF/EMF and wireless devices. See recommendations below and link to report. Canada’s Safety Code 6 providing guidelines for RF exposure is virtually identical to the 1996 FCC guidelines in the US. 17 June 2015 http://www.mainecoalitiontostopsmartmeters.org/2015/06/canadian-parliamentary-health-committee-calls-for-review-of-guidelines-related-to-wireless-technologies/
- Captured Agency: In a new publication just released from the Edmond J. Safra Center for Ethics at Harvard University, Norm Alster examines how the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) is dominated by the industries it presumably regulates. Linked below are selected quotations which are organized in a way to effectively create a synopsis version of the original 59-page document linked above.  Selected quotes as posted June 27, 2015 by SkyVision Solutions