Monday May 6, CALL YOUR TEXAS SENATOR- IF you WANT A CHANCE TO OPT-OUT of the SMART METERS!! UPDATE–> Calls on Tuesday are still worthwhile, so don’t think it is too late! We can call up until it is being voted on, which, last I heard, it may happpen Wednesday, but that is subject to change!
call your Texas Senator!
Now the bill (SB 241) is headed for a vote on the floor of the Texas Senate, but Dewhurst will not bring to the floor without knowing at least 21 Senators will vote FOR it. So, try to get a committment for them to vote FOR it without amendments. This call will take less than 5 min. and could turn the tide of sentiment…I dare say some Senators were not even aware that a Smart Meter Opt Out bill even existed, and they may not realize there are so many who are opposed to being forced to have one on their house. (If you want any ‘talking points’ to share with them, read below!)
Find your Senator here. http://www.fyi.legis.state.tx.us/Home.aspx
The Spotlight is on the Texas SB 241, introduced by Honorable Senator John Corona, to whom we owe a heartfelt thank you for listening to the many Texans who poured out their hearts in their numerous letters, and during the hearings held in the Senate Business and Commerce Committee. Thanks, also to the Senators who voted in favor of the Bill to get it out of committee in a 2nd vote Thurs (May 2, 2013). Yes votes are as follows: Carona, Taylor, Eltife, Hancock, Lucio (Lucio changed from NO on first vote; also first vote, Taylor, Eltife and Hancock were a No Show). We also want to extend a “Shout Out” to Glen Beck who did a feature on Smart Meters on his Wed. show where he had a guest (anti-smart meter activist, Thelma Taormina of 912 Members USA) who exposed the failure of the Smart Meter SB 241 bill to be successfully voted out of committee. Oh, and one more Thank You- to God, who heard the petitions of many of his children.
No, this Bill does not BAN Smart Meters, but many feel this is a start, and as such, the beginnings of victory. There are some whose health is so fragile, and just getting the meter off of their home will make a significant improvement in their daily lives. (Yes, some are even feeling effects from their neighboring meters, but, the closer the meter, the worse the effects.)
CALL YOUR SENATORS – YES, AGAIN!
Now the bill is headed for a vote on the floor of the Texas Senate, but Dewhurst will not bring to the floor without knowing at least 21 Senators will vote FOR it.
Find your Senator here. http://www.fyi.legis.state.tx.us/Home.aspx
Some Senators may balk at the bill because of the NO COST for Opt Out – Below are some reasons you might arm your Senator with, or convince them with.
TALKING POINTS (For a NO COST OPT OUT!)
I know this might be a bit long, scan it, pick the best 2 or so, and explain to your Senator.
One I personally feel is strong, is that ALL taxpayers had a part in the PAYING FOR SMART METERS via our 2nd Stimulus in 2009, 3.4 Billion going towards Smart Meters and related items. Not to mention that Texans have been charged approx. $2.21 per mo. for Advanced Metering for many months now, and as I understand we will continue to be charged this amount for a total of 11 years, totalling approx. $293. I believe that amount is even increasing, as the last time i called to get electricity to a home I was quoted $3.? or so as the metering charge! Now, for those opting out, who’s smart meter are we paying for…one that is NON EXISTENT!
NOTE: those reasons below were provided by another anti-smart meter activist. Thanks to her!
First, the deployment was never supposed to be mandatory; therefore, paying to opt-out of a non-mandatory action is irrational and illogical. It is a punitive disincentive to choosing what is best for the individual, whether it relates to health concerns, privacy, or security.
Second, the basis for health concerns is widespread.
There are now over 6,000 peer-reviewed submissions that have been published showing the potentially harmful effects of exposure to RF radiation from wireless digital transmission at levels far below the thermal activity. The so-called standards of safety for the often quoted FCC guidelines date back to 1986 and are ”not protective of public health” according to the Radio Frequency Interagency Working Group (FDA, OSHA, EPA and FCC).
The World Health Organization (WHO) International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC) now lists this RF as a possible human carcinogen.
The American Academy of Environmental Medicine has issued warnings about reducing exposure levels of non-thermal RF transmissions in many individual cases and has said, “Adverse health effects from wireless radio frequency fields, such as learning disabilities, altered immune responses, and headaches, clearly exist and are well documented in the scientific literature. Safer technology, such as use of hard-wiring, is strongly recommended in schools.”
And finally, in a June 2012 letter, 54 MD’s and PhDs made a compelling case for concern regarding the health risks and effects. Increasingly, it is only the studies funded by the wireless companies that find the effects relatively benign, much as was the case with cigarettes for many years. Yet in the case of cigarettes and with far less data than is available today on RF, no one suggested people should have to pay a fee for NOT smoking. It is ridiculous for a government to assert people should pay extra to avoid a health hazard with this much evidence behind it.
Third, the cost of the deployment is socialized, which means I’m paying for others to have the privilege of using a smart meter. Therefore, the cost of opting out of this deployment must be socialized. Either we all share the cost of using or not using OR we each pay individually for using or not using. We shouldn’t have one standard for one group and a different standard for another group!
No basis can be found to justify paying for a consumer’s right to not participate in a regulated monopoly’s technological deployment where no statutory mandate exists. The socialized cost of the deployment, the discriminatory and punitive nature of the charge, and the hindrances to free market competition leave no doubt that an opt out charge is indefensible.
Fourth, Electric transmission and distribution utilities (TDUs such as Oncor, CenterPoint, AEP, TNMP) have a regulated monopoly, with no options or flexibility as one would have in a free market exchange; therefore, opt out fees are incompatible with this business model. Contrast this business model and forceful deployment of smart meters to the cell phone industry’s business model. Cell phones were developed and deployed in a free market exchange, to which only the wealthy or tech-savvy had initial access. As new technology led to improved user-friendliness and better service plans, and as the costs decreased over time, more consumers freely bought into this technology. No one was forced to buy cell phones, nor were they penalized for not buying them.
Fifth, an opt out fee is discriminatory because only the wealthy have the option of separating themselves from the smart grid network, albeit, only partially*. Those who would be challenged to pay the opt out penalty include the elderly, the disabled, those on a limited or fixed income. Worse yet, many of these classes of people are the ones who are potentially most vulnerable to RF related issues.
Sixth, opt out costs negate the competitive nature of the free market when property owners, who prefer not to take on the liability of personal injury or intellectual property vandalism, have to increase their rates. These property owners would be forced to pass on the cost of opting out to their tenants (apartments, hotels, retail centers, or other high density living spaces), thereby, making their pricing structures artificially higher than their competitors who don’t opt out.
Seventh, opting out does not require a meter reader, and need not be a financial burden. As has been done in many other cases, the TDUs could transmit electric consumption over existing phone lines or power lines, which would also be much more secure than wireless transmissions and much safer by eliminating RF exposure. In fact, in many cases this landline technology is what was removed from a house when the Smart Meter was installed. Additionally, many remote or rural customers are self reporting. This method could be offered to those who choose to opt out, as well as potentially an option to go online and input one’s meter readings onto a webpage would be easy to set up and run.
BUT, “What if this smart meter deployment saves the taxpayer money? Then we should charge you for opting out,” challenged one attorney. Not so fast my learned intellectual. You cannot charge an opt out fee on the basis of a speculation. The cost/benefit must be proven first.
And last, is it possible that an opt out charge is discriminatory against minorities? The Executive Director of the PUC called us “discreet, small number of people.” Discrimination against minorities is as taboo as it gets. What politician wants to claim that moniker as his own?
We would like to add
*An Opt Out is only a partial remedy to the forceful smart meter deployment. Having one’s own smart meter removed while others remain in place, doesn’t protect the individual from the matrix of radio frequencies emanating from the larger smart meter mesh network. Nor does it alleviate the bigger problem of a central bureaucratic unelected agency or commission controlling the entire value chain of generation, transmission, distribution, storage, and end-use of electricity. The current version of opt out is only one option (no others have been offered by the utilities or the PUC) and is so inconsequential that is does not justify charging the consumer any amount.