Just a quick scan of this past year’s video reports on our popular YouTube Channel [on left] will give you a taste of the topics and events we’ve covered – with your support – in 2016:
The biological effects of the on-going Fukushima disaster;
The emergence of a New Nuclear Arms Race;
The fight to shutdown Diablo Canyon before the Big One hits;
The links between nuclear energy, weapons and waste;
Former Japanese PM Koizumi’s support for Fukushima-injured US sailors:
The trans-pacific solidarity of Japanese and US nuclear abolitionists;
Corruption our election system by the ruthless, radical rich .01%.
But that would only be part of the story. You would also need to look at our blogs – PlanetarianPerspectives.net, NoNukesCA.net, and eonEMFblog.net. And don’t forget checking out our daily posts on FaceBook and Twitter.
We’re also proud of our fiscal sponsorship of organizations like Positive News, EMFAnalysis and the EMF Safety Network, and our cooperation with the latter in flow-funding other US groups working on wireless electromagnetic pollution issues.
The legacy of nuclear energy, weapons & waste; The promise of a renewable energy transition; The power of grassroots organizing.
Six years in the making – and now in its post-production phase – this timely, empowering documentary telling California’s nuclear stories also exposes the myths about the usefulness of nuclear power to confront climate change and the usefulness of nuclear weapons to resolve conflict.
President-select Trump recently tweeted “The United States must greatly strengthen and expand its nuclear capability until such time as the world comes to its senses regarding nukes….Let it be an arms race… we will outmatch them at every pass and outlast them all.”
This documentary is a passionate call to consciousness by nuclear war protesters and activists from local reactor communities who have recognized the looming existential threat of nuclear energy, weapons and waste – the real ‘nuclear triad.’ Their hard won knowledge is now even more necessary than ever – crackpot nuclearism is on the rise.
Please continue to contribute what you can to help us raise the $50,000 needed to bring SHUTDOWN to the fine-cut stage by early 2017 and keep the rest of our operation going.
EON – the Ecological Options Network is a 501(c)3 tax-exempt organization. Tax-deductible contributions can be made on-line at EON3.net/donate. Checks may be made out to EON and mailed to EON, PO Box 1047, Bolinas, CA 94924. For more information please call 415-868-1900.
EON Co-Directors Mary Beth Brangan and James Heddle,
ably assisted by the multi-talented Morgan Peterson, are now at work on their forthcoming documentary SHUTDOWN – The California-Fukushima Connection
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The new 5G technology will impact us all in a very serious way. FCC Chair, Tom Wheeler, wants virtually everything to be connected via 5G which will launch a whole slew of new frequencies, and no testing whatsoever. Please read the email below and consider writing a letter to the FCC and our elected reps. Our voice must be heard over that of industry.
The MSMA Team
As you may have already heard, July 14th is the day set for the FCC to vote on Tom Wheeler’s vision of 5G in the USA. He wants to be “first out the gate.” Wheeler says, “Turning innovators loose is far preferable to expecting committees and regulators to define the future.” A full highlighted PDF version of Wheeler’s talk from last week is attached.
I am certain a cursory reading of the talk will inspire you to write a strong letter to the FCC and others.
Calls and letters to the FCC, Representatives, Senators and relevant committees are needed by the thousands!!!!! …by July 13th. Please share this info widely and post wherever possible. Most important to contact is the House Subcommittee on Communications and Technology since they will vote July 12 on their recommendation to the FCC who will vote July 14.
Below is a package prepared mostly by www.electricalpollution.com which offers guidance in letter writing and contacting representatives.
If the Commission approves my proposal next month, the United States will be the first country in the world to open up high-band spectrum for 5G networks and applications. And that’s damn important because it means U.S. companies will be first out of the gate.
We will be repeating the proven formula that made the United States the world leader in 4G. It’s a simple formula: Lead the world in spectrum availability, encourage and protect innovation- driving competition, and stay out of the way of technological development.
Unlike some countries, we do not believe we should spend the next couple of years studying what 5G should be, how it should operate, and how to allocate spectrum, based on those assumptions. Like the examples I gave earlier, the future has a way of inventing itself. Turning innovators loose is far preferable to expecting committees and regulators to define the future. We won’t wait for the standards to be first developed in the sometimes arduous standards-setting process or in a government-led activity. Instead, we will make ample spectrum available and then rely on a private sector-led process for producing technical standards best suited for those frequencies and use cases.
Help Stop 5G Wireless – a dangerous radiation intensive technology!
The FCC is voting on whether to move forward with 5G, an extremely dangerous technology. Read Chairman Wheelers comments about the Spectrum Frontiers Proceeding (https://www.fcc.gov/document/remarks-chairman-wheeler-future-wireless). This would put 5G transmitters on power and light poles throughout communities across the United States with the aim of creating enough saturation of very high frequency microwave radiation that fiber optic level connectivity is available wirelessly everywhere.
We will need as many people as possible from the U.S. and around the world, including experts, to contact the FCC by July 13, 2016. They vote on the proposal on July 14, 2016.
Please take a moment to contact the FCC Commissioners BEFORE their vote on July 14 in opposition to the rollout of 5G. A template letter is below, please take a moment personalize it briefly with your experience to give it greater impact.
Tom Wheeler, Chairman Tom.Wheeler@fcc.gov
Mignon Clyburn, Commissioner Mignon.Clyburn@fcc.gov
Jessica Rosenworcel, Commissioner Jessica.Rosenworcel@fcc.gov
Ajit Pai, Commissioner Ajit.Pai@fcc.gov
Michael O’Rielly, Commissioner Mike.O’Rielly@fcc.gov
Please send a copy of your letter also to your U.S. Representative and Senators and the relevant committees (listed below). It was Congress that decided to give sole responsibility for wireless promotion and safety to the FCC, an industry dominated agency. It is essential that they hear from you. Only they can give authority for health back to the EPA, which has tried in the past to protect the public. Congress defunded EPA and removed its authority to protect the public from wireless radiation to stop it (http://www.stopglobalwifi.org/documents/PressReleaseDec2015.pdf).
Call the White House
Ask President Obama to halt the rollout of 5G in light of the safety hazards. President Obama can also be emailed using the form at https://www.whitehouse.gov/contact
Ask for oversight hearings on dangers of societal saturation with radiation from wireless technology. Most important to contact is the House Subcommittee on Communications and Technology since they will vote July 12 on their recommendation to the FCC who will vote July 14.
House Energy and Commerce Committee – (202) 225-2927
House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform: (202) 225-5074
U.S. Senate Committee on Health, Education, Labor and Pensions – (202)-224-5375 http://www.help.senate.gov/ links to contact the two ranking members on webpage
U.S. Senate Committee on Commerce, Science, & Transportation – Majority: 202-224-1251, Minority: 202-224-0411 U.S.
Senate Committee on Energy and Natural Resources – (202) 224-4971
Spectrum Frontiers Proceeding is being represented as an unqualified good, but it is not. It will do great harm to human health and the environment.
Please vote “no” to the Spectrum Frontiers Proceeding. There has been no NEPA review of the environmental and human health impacts of moving forward with 5G. The FCC has put the cart before the horse in promulgating rules for 5G without first studying the safety of 5G for humans and the environment. There is consensus within the scientific community that the existing FCC limits for wireless radiation do not protect the population from biological effects (https://www.emfscientist.org) The National Toxicology Program recently release results showing that radiofrequency radiation (RFR) can indeed both break DNA and cause cancer (http://www.saferemr.com/2016/05/national-toxicology-progam-finds-cell.html and http://microwavenews.com/news-center/ntp-nyt).
Don’t vote to unleash a dangerous environmental pollutant on your friends, family, and, indeed, the whole country. Vote to protect your family, friends, and the country – vote “no” on Spectrum Frontiers. Be on the right side of history.
Thanks for taking the time to do this…it feels a bit like a lost cause – But..as the Good Book tells us, We are not obligated to complete the task, but neither may we desist from trying. (Ethics of our Fathers)
STOP the FCC Vote to Release New High Band Spectrum (above 24Ghz) for the 5G network. [ Fact Sheet pdf ] It means more harmful frequency, more small cell transmitters and END TO ALL LANDLINES. Demand that the EPA not the FCC establish and maintain the safety standards for non-thermal biological effects for wireless radiation before rolling our more wireless spectrum.
Vote, Announcement, & Roll Out- Thursday, July 14th, 10:30am EST-Room TW-C305, FCC 445 12th St SW, Washington DC (See Attached)
Demand These Congress Members protect us from harm. According to Martin Pall PhD, we know 4G is harmful and reports from other countries in Europe and South Korea say it is making more people sick because it pulses more. We know from the NTP study that harm is not about power and heating but more about frequency, wave length and pulsation. 5G heats less but it pulses more. None of these transmitters have been tested for non-thermal effects which the NTP study proved causes cancer and is neurotoxic.
Please call, email and ideally visit the US Senate and House Committees with Oversight over the FCC. We have researched it for you. Their names, pictures, email addresses, phone numbers, chiefs of staff, and the staff member with responsibility for the FCC are listed. Try to hit Chief of Staff as well as legislative staff. Chiefs of Staff definitely have more power and have the ear of the Senator or House member. This is the “Committee Members – U.S. Senate Committee On Commerce, Science, & Transportation Senate list. Please call the FCC commissioners as well-see attached.
Start emailing, calling and visiting now. I am in DC with others working to educate lawmakers. If you are visiting offices, I suggest you go separately or in pairs and represent different groups. You can say info is circulating on the internet and many many groups are outraged.
If you are Electromagnetically Intolerant tell them your symptoms; this way we may identify staff members who are also ES who can help us.
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Please help members of “We are the Evidence,” “Parents for Safe Technology,” and “Americans for Safe Technology” get an appointment to meet with key staff from your Senators and Representative.
Can you please:
1. Call your state senators and representative and tell them you want them to meet with members of “We are the Evidence,” “Parents for Safe Technology,” and “Americans for Safe Technology” on behalf of you, a constituent. They are available for meetings on July 11, 12, and 13.
Be sure to express the importance of having oversight hearings related to the negligence of the FCC in promoting wireless technology, and even rolling out an additional radiation intensive technology (5G), after the National Toxicology Program released findings that radiation from wireless technology causes cancer and breaks DNA.
The consensus of the scientists studying the health effects of radiation from wireless technology is that the FCC limits are outdated and inadequate or, in the words of the U.S. Department of Interior (DOI), “the electromagnetic radiation standards used by the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) continue to be based on thermal heating, a criterion now nearly 30 years out of date and inapplicable today.”
2. If they offer to schedule an appointment as you speak, take a tentative appointment and immediately email Kate at firstname.lastname@example.org so that she can work it into the schedule or immediately call the office to reschedule.
Please include the following information in your email:
all contact information for you
contact info and full names of elected officials you contacted
confirm that you called and outcome of call
Copy of letter to FCC, if you sent one – details at (http://www.electricalpollution.com/Stop5G.html)
If they say they want you to email to schedule an appointment, please do that ccing Kate at email@example.com so they can complete the scheduling with her. You should include your complete contact information so they know you are a constituent.
Please schedule an appointment on July 11, 12, or 13 with Kate Kheel to meet with representatives from “We are the Evidence” and “Parents for Safe Technology” and “Americans for Safe Technology.”
It is very important to me as a constituent that you learn more about the urgent need for Congress to hold oversight hearings related to the FCC’s negligence in promoting wireless technology in the face of mounting evidence (including the National Toxicology Program finding that wireless technology is carcinogenic and causes DNA breakage) and scientific consensus that wireless technology causes dangerous biological effects (www.EMFscientist.org).
Thank you in advance for scheduling an appointment to learn more,
Protecting my health and that of others by using a hardwired computer in a low RF environment.
For more information, see www.electricalpollution.com
…Snapshots of the Resurgent Movement for a Nuclear Free California
Report to Funders
Many, many thanks to those who have supported us through the past year! With great appreciation to our funders, supporters and partner activist organizations, we celebrate our past year’s accomplishments and share some snapshots from our past year’s activities and previews of 2016. Our three main issue areas are Electro-magnetic Health Protection, Denuclearization and Election Protection – the latter, because you can’t have democratic choice on public policy issues if the voting is rigged.
Our work in 2015 began in January with helping to organize, along with Mothers for Peace and many other organizations, the NoNukesCA/West Coast conference to shut down California’s last nuke standing,’ Diablo Canyon. We also provided media support and video documentation for the conference.
"Shutdown Diablo!" Author, activist Harvey Wasserman concludes the NoNukesCA Conference with a rousing affirmation. Wasserman has been a major force in the NoNukes movement from the beginning, and continues his participation in, and reporting on, the NoNukesCA movement at NukeFree.org..
Our work in 2015 concluded with helping to organize and document on video a West Coast speaking tour for Maggie & Arnie Gundersen, founding CEO and Chief Nuclear Engineer, respectively, of Fairewinds Energy Education (Fairewinds.org). We’re pleased and honored to be collaborating with this impactful organization and the wise and wonderful couple that run it.
MB facilitates Day 2 of the NoNukesCA conference. Jim in a promotion for EON’s new documentary SHUTDOWN. A four-way conversation during Maggie and Arnie Gundersen’s Fairewinds 2015 speaking tour of Northern California that EON co-organized with John Bertucci of Fukushima Response and Project Censored at Sonoma State University; Cynthia Papermaster and the Berkeley Fellowship of Unitarian Universalists; and Bing Gong, Pt. Reyes Books & Cultural Potholes Institute in Pt. Reyes. There were also Fairewinds presentations at Lori Grace’s Sunrise Center in San Rafael, as well as at CalPoly and with the Mothers for Peace in San Luis Obispo. Mary Beth and Jim’s conversation with Maggie and Arnie in Pt. Reyes is now on-line on Vimeo and YouTube as a preview of the EON video series based on Fairewinds tour forthcoming in 2016.
In this “Tell All” segment of the series, Maggie and Arnie discuss their lives as former nuclear energy insiders, the lies they were told and led to believe, and the subsequent impact of speaking truth to power as whistleblowers. Now, as consultants and educators about the risk of atomic power and its radiation leaks, Maggie and Arnie talk about their role in uncovering the operating risks at San Onofre & Diablo.
Author & eco-philosopher Joanna Macy, and EON’s Jim Heddle and Mary Beth Brangan speak in segments of the upcoming EON video series based on the 2015 Fairewinds California speaking tour.
During the year, we also worked to organize and document presentations by leading scientists Ken Buesseler and Tim Mousseau on their investigations of the oceanic and biological impacts of still on-going Fukushima contamination with co-sponsors Bing Gong, Fukushima Response, Pt. Reyes Books and Cultural Potholes Institute. MB’s presentation helped place the scientists’ research in perspective.
We continued our coverage of the dire radioactive waste issues at San Onofre documented by Donna Gilmore of SanOnofreSafety.org. Donna’s invaluable research has revealed key vulnerabilities and gaping holes in current technology for containing the lethal high level waste that will last thousands of years. Donna’s challenges, backed by hard NRC data, holds industry and government decision-makers accountable. Ms. Gilmore is educating, not only activists, but largely unaware industry insiders and government officials both in CA and nationally. Responsibly managing the millions of pounds of highly corrosive deadly long-lasting radioactive waste is crucial to our species and all other species survival, but current Southern Califonia Edison plans are to bury it in thin stainless steel canisters with a cement overpack, 100 ft. from the rising ocean and inches above the water table on the beach in San Clemente surrounded by 8 million people. The technology does not exist to determine depth of cracks in the thin canisters, nor for repairing the canisters, nor for transporting cracked canisters, if there were a safe place to move them.
SanOnofreSafety.org founder Donna Gilmore educates the CCC Commissioners on the risks of SoCalEdison radwaste storage plans at San Onofre A die-in at LIvermore. A teleconference on the TPP.
Revelations of nuclear plans to spend trillions of dollars for on-going nuclear weapons development were announced by Marylia Kelly at the protest at Livermore Lab on Hiroshima’s 70th. anniversary, organized by Western States Legal Foundation and Tri-Valley CAREs. EON’s coverage of this important event was cablecast multiple times. We also note the grassroots push for independent monitoring of radioactivity levels in air, food and water led by Fukushima Response and the Fukushima Fallout Awareness Network (FFAN). Kim Roberson organized FFAN members (EON, Beyond Nuclear and Citizens for Health) for a teleconference to block the TPP, which would further permit radioactivity in food with no labeling.
Lft.: SoCal Edison's Tom Palmisano presents his company's San Onofre radwaste storage plan to CA Coastal Commissioners. Ctr.: Mark Lombard, head of the radwaste program at the NRC admits to the CCC that the possibility to monitor and replace failing radwaste canisters like those being used at San Onofre is "not a now thing." Rt.: "We want to know how you vote!" - Ray Lutz of CitizenOversight.org demands a voice vote from California Coastal Commissioners about to approve SoCalEdison's seriously flawed San Onofre radioactive waste storage plan - thin stainless steel canisters, inches above the water table in a tsunami zone, on the beach of a rising ocean. What could possibly go wrong?
We have continued to document the unfolding scandal at the California Public Utilities Commission (CPUC) and followed closely the work of San Diego attorneys Mike Aguirre and Mia Severson as they press to expose corruption and insist on justice.
Lft.: Attorney Mike Aguirre walks us through his assembled timeline documenting CPUC corruption relating to San Onofre. Ctr.: Former CPUC President Michael Peevey (L) is under investigation. Critics say current President Michael Picker (R) is stonewalling corruption inquiries. Former CPUC President Loretta Lynch says it is now a ‘rogue agency.’ Rt.: Attorney Mia Severson explains how the costs of SoCal Edison’s mismanagement at San Onofre have been passed on to ratepayers.
In 2015 we have continued our collaboration with Dr. Devra Davis and the Environmental Health Trust documenting her and her colleagues’ work on the human health effects of electro magnetic pollution caused by wifi and cell phone technologies. Our team traveled up and down the state covering meetings of the California Coastal Commission, and grassroots conferences such as the one organized by Myla Reson and Ann Doneen of the Malibu Democratic Club.
Lft.: Dr. Devra Davis at the 2015 Bio-Electric Magnetic Society (BEMS) Conference. Ctr.: Coastal Commission debates radwaste storage plans at San Onofre (R) Speakers Paul Frey, Donna Gilmore, Linda Seeley and Harvey Wasserman talk about the risks of Diablo Canyon at a community meeting in Malibu.
In the process we added 54 video reports to our popular YouTube Channel, which now has more than 700 posts, over 4,200 subscribers, and millions of views. Much of this exclusive footage will be used in our documentary SHUTDOWN: The California-Fukushima Connection, which is now in post-production for release in 2016.
As the year came to a close…
Ca. Lt. Gov. Gavin Newsom (with his eye on a gubernatorial run) is the Chair of the California Coastal Commission. He has called for an environmental review of Diablo's continued operation. “I don’t think that PG&E, in its quiet moments, would disagree that this may not have been the ideal site for a plant,” Newsom said at the commission’s Dec. 18 meeting. “I just don’t see that this plant is going to survive beyond 2024, 2025,” Newsom said. “I just don’t see that. Now, I absolutely may be wrong, but that’s my punditry. And there is a compelling argument as to why it shouldn’t.”
Also in the works is a potential documentary co-production [funding permitting] based on our years of work with Suzanne Patzer, Bob Fitrakis and Harvey Wasserman of FreePress.org and the Columbus Institute of Contemporary Journalism on the history of election theft going into the lead-up to the 2016 election and what can be done to prevent it.
Our work is made possible in large part by contributions from people like you. We encourage you to consider a monthly contribution or by including EON in your 2016 giving. Thanks for whatever you can afford – we really appreciate it! EON is a 501 ( c ) 3, tax-exempt organization. Please visit our ‘something-for-every-budget’ Donate Page – http://eon3.net/donate.html
In Solidarity, The EON Team
Mary Beth Brangan, James Heddle, Morgan Peterson
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Is the CPUC beyond reform? Three state legislators don’t think so.
by James Heddle and Mary Beth Brangan
[cross-posted on PlanetarianPerspectives.net]
Demonstrators at the CPUC call for a shutdown of PG&E's Diablo Canyon, California's last operating nuclear reactors. EON photo
The Iron Law of PUC Corruption
In 2006 Werner Troesken published a paper in the National Bureau of Economic Research publication ‘Corruption and Reform: Lessons from America’s Economic History’ entitled Regime Change and Corruption. A History of Public Utility Regulation. In it Troesken looked at the history of public utilities commissions and wondered why, despite both public and private attempts at reform, utility regulation seems always to lapse into corruption. Here’s how he describes his hypotheses and research findings in what might be called Troesken’s Iron Law of PUC Corruption:
“First, corruption is endemic to public utility industries; corruption exists, in some form, across all regulatory and ownership regimes. Second, regime change in utility industries does not eliminate corruption; it only alters the type of corruption observed. Third, for any type of governance regime (e.g., state regulation or municipal ownership) corruption grows increasingly severe over time and, at some point, becomes politically untenable.” pg. 260
“Based on the historical evidence presented above it appears that corruption, and the necessity to eliminate corruption when it gets too costly, accounts for the efficacy of regime change. In this context, the direction of regime change—from public to private, or private to public—is of second-order importance. What matters is some radical reshuffling of the institutional matrix to disrupt the underlying corrupt relationships. Unfortunately, this disruption is only temporary, and gradually new forms of corruption emerge and must again be broken down by institutional change.” Pg. 278
Cartoon thanks to emfsafetynetwork.org and narellecartoons.com
PUCs’ Dominant Corruption Gene – President Picker’s Perplex
California’s Public Utilities Commission could serve as the poster child for Troesken’s Iron Law. The CPUC was established in 1911 under progressive era Governor Hiram Johnson as a result of a popular initiative and constitutional amendment stimulated by widespread public outrage about Robber Railroad Barrons’ corruption of California’s politics and economy.
Over the years the Commission has grown into a complex, hydra-headed bureaucracy, which – despite its mind-boggling system of functionaries, rules and procedures – is nevertheless vulnerable to manipulation by both internal and external actors.
Now, a century later, the agency intended to protect the public against corporate greed and incompetence has become, as former CPUC President Loretta Lynch puts it, “a rogue agency.” Almost daily revelations of endemic corruption continue to suggest a system approaching unreformability.
Newly appointed President Michael Picker – long a Gov. Brown insider – has promised ‘transparency,’ while, at the same time, the agency is spending up to $5.2 million for the services of the high end law firm Sheppard Mullin to respond to the multiple criminal investigations now underway. The first task of Sheppard Mullin was to advise on which documents to release, withhold or redact in the face of public record requests in order to protect the CPUC from too much transparency.
‘Regime Change’ for the CPUC? AB 825
So, following Troesken’s Iron Law, what would constitute a “radical reshuffling of the institutional matrix to disrupt the underlying corrupt relationships,” even if the effects of “this disruption is only temporary?”
On February 6, 2015 California Assemblymember Anthony Rendon, whose 63rd District covers nine SoCal cities and a swath of northern Long Beach, introduced Assembly Bill 825 which aims at answer that question. As amended in the Assembly on April 20, 2015, AB 825 would amend and revise portions of the state’s Public Utilities Code, relating to the Public Utilities Commission. California State Senators Jerry Hill and Mark Leno have also weighed in with amendment suggestions. Sen. Leno is sponsoring SB 215, a parallel CPUC reform bill in the State Senate.
Assemblymember Rendon’s office is soliciting suggestions about the proposed bill and will hold a meeting in Sacramento on Thursday, May 7 to listen to input. [Background info PDF’s provided by his office are here and here. ] Address your suggestions to Alf W. Brandt, Legislative Director, Assemblymember Anthony Rendon State Capitol – Room 5136, Sacramento, California 95814 e-mail: Alf.Brandt@asm.ca.gov
EON will submit the following recommendations and continue to report on this important issue. As ‘official intervenors’ on behalf of the public interest in CPUC proceedings over the last several years, we have a few preliminary issue suggestions we hope a final bill combining AB 825 and SB 215 – as eventually passed – will address:
We need rigorous enforcement of CPUC sections 451 & 453 (b) that have been egregiously ignored in the case of the forced installation of so-called ‘smart’ meters.
451 ” Every public utility shall furnish and maintain such adequate, efficient, just, and reasonable service, instrumentalities, equipment, and facilities … as are necessary to promote the safety, health, comfort, and convenience of its patrons, employees, and the public.” [emphasis added]
453 (b) “No public utility shall prejudice, disadvantage, or require different rates or deposit amounts from a person because of ancestry, medical condition, marital status or change in marital status, occupation, or any characteristic listed or defined in Section 11135 of the Government Code.” [emphasis added]
In the case of “smart” meters, thousands of ratepayers vociferously objected to the forced installation of the electronic RF-emitting meters. Hundreds reported serious health affects and injuries.
Those suffering from exposure to banks of multiple meters in apartments, condominiums and business offices are at serious risk. Fires, interference with other wireless devices, bill over-charging and privacy impacts from the microwave-emitting meter’s mega-data-gathering to be sold to third parties are all impacts that were reported to a non-responsive CPUC in addition to the adverse health effects. Despite people objecting in many ways, the CPUC ignored their pleas and instituted an upfront and monthly fee for those demanding to retain the old mechanical meter. This is paying to NOT have this dangerous meter that Attorney General reports from Illinois and other states have determined to have no advantage to ratepayers.
In a stinging letter to the state Department of Public Utilities Commission, for instance, a lawyer from Massachusetts Attorney General Martha Coakley’s office pointed to large-scale tests in Illinois and elsewhere in which the meters failed to justify their costs. Michigan Attorney General Bill Schuette filed suit in the state appeals court, stating that there is no net economic benefit to consumers resulting from the use of smart meters and that there is unlikely to be any future benefit. The court of appeals agreed. Illinois Attorney General Lisa Madigan agreed with Schuette, stating: “The utilities have shown no evidence of billions of dollars in benefits to consumers from these new meters, but they have shown they know how to profit. “
Unimpeded Media Access in accordance with California’s 2004 Bagley-Keene Open Meeting Act for both corporate AND independent media organizations and citizen journalists.
Ex parte Rule Violations must be prosecuted and prevented by a change in the Commission’s management culture. The institutionalized attitude toward ‘public advocates as enemies’ and utility officials as friends must be changed.
Authentic Public Access to Commissioners – Members of the public and advocacy group representatives should be able to meet with Commissioners and their aides with appropriate ex parte reporting, not just utility executives. Commissioners and staff must officially receive and register communications from the public.
Complaint Processing – Public complaints should be officially received and published online as well as concrete actions taken to address the problems.
Transparency in Renewable Energy Accounting – The CPUC should mandate utilities to track solar roof top electricity generation in order to be able to fully utilize it via substations. The amount of renewable energy thus generated should be transparently reported. Currently, it is not tracked.
Transparency in Utilities’ Energy Efficiency Program Reporting – CPUC awarded large bonuses to utilities for unsubstantiated Energy Efficiency Program gains. CPUC currently gives ratepayer-based Energy Efficiency funds to utilities and disallows them to be used by cities and other entities who have no conflict of interest in saving energy and whose EE programs have genuinely produced results in the past.
Public Comments – Members of the public and advocacy group representatives must be allowed to speak in the ‘open comment’ period before business meetings without unfair limits being imposed. Spokespeople should not be prohibited from speaking on a given issue if they have already addressed it in previous meetings.
Administrative Law Judges must be randomly chosen, not ‘shopped’ for their friendliness to the interests of certain parties in Commission proceedings. Attorney Larry Bragman, formerly Mayor of Fairfax, CA and current Marin County Water Board Member, who has familiarity with past and current CPUC functioning, puts it this way:
“The CPUC’s administrative law judges should be assigned cases randomly (as in Federal and State Court) and not by the commissioners. That would reduce the influence of individual commission members to cherry pick judges and influence hearings.
“Once assigned a case, the law should require that ALJ’s adhere to the same judicial code of conduct and ethics that Superior Court judges follow. No more back door meetings with litigants or commissioners.”
Commissioners Should be Elected, rather than appointed. Elections should be open to candidates from all stakeholder sectors, not just corporate and political circles and utility-friendly NGOs, but from Citizen Groups as well.
Legal Challenge of Decisions – proceeding decisions must be open to direct and timely challenge in Superior Court, rather than in the appellate courts.
Online User Friendliness – the Commission website should be updated and streamlined to support non-expert access. Complex forms should be simplified. The video archive should be upgraded for greater video quality and accessibility.
Overly complex and burdensome technical and procedural barriers to public and intervenor input should be removed.
Intervenor Compensation Requests should be evaluated and ruled upon by a randomly-chosen Administrative Law Judge other than the ALJ of the proceeding in which the intervenor participated. Compensation payments should not be punitively manipulated or delayed in relation to the identity or policy position of the intervenor .
We observed an example of this when a dying intervenor’s compensation was deliberately withheld by the CPUC, though it was known, according to a former CPUC Commissioner who spoke with someone in the business office, that the money was needed for the intervenor’s cancer treatment. The check arrived after her death.
We support California legislators Rendon, Hill and Leno in their efforts at CPUC ‘regime change,’ while remembering Troesken’s Iron Law, “What matters is some radical reshuffling of the institutional matrix to disrupt the underlying corrupt relationships. Unfortunately, this disruption is only temporary, and gradually new forms of corruption emerge and must again be broken down by institutional change.”
Nineteenth century abolitionist Wendell Phillips put it this way in a speech before the Massachusetts Antislavery Society in 1852, “Eternal vigilance is the price of liberty.”
James Heddle and Mary Beth Brangan co-direct EON – The Ecological Options Network
If you like EON’s work, you can support it, whatever your budget level, here.
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This chart above and text below are from attorneys Mike Aguirre and Mia Severson,
who’re representing low income ratepayers against Southern CA Edison’s
plan to demand $5 Billion from their customers for
their stupid mistakes with San Onofre nuclear power plant.
The CPUC colluded with Southern California Edison (SCE) in this. This case has much of the same
pattern as with the CPUC and ‘smart’ meters, as well as with PG&E and Diablo
Canyon, the remaining nuclear power plant in CA – our own potential Fukushima.
Mary Beth Brangan
What Is A Cover-Up
A cover-up is an attempt to conceal evidence of wrongdoing. In a passive cover-up information is simply not provided; in an active cover-up deception is used.
The expression is usually applied to people in positions of authority who abuse their power to deflect guilt of wrongdoing. Those who initiate a cover up (or their allies) may be responsible for a crime.
Are Those Listed Above Engaged in a $5.2 Million cover-up of an unlawful scheme to Make Edison customers to pay $5B for closed San Onofre plant? Are they getting help from the Governor’s office? Who is Nancy McFadden?
Who is Nancy McFadden?
Nancy McFadden was the Senior Vice President and Senior Advisor to the Chairman and CEO of PG&E Corporation, and before that was the Senior Vice President of Public Affairs for PG&E Corporation and Pacific Gas and Electric Company. She received $1 million from PG&E before joining Brown’s staff. She now serves as the Executive Secretary to California Governor Edmund G. Brown, Jr. [ see: Indispensable insider looks out for Gov. Jerry Brown’s interests – “Former Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger’s chief aide was Susan Kennedy, so influential that many viewed her as the de facto governor. Nobody says that about McFadden, a lawyer who is more broker than coach for a governor with decades of policy experience.” ]
Nancy McFadden is the longest-serving loyalist in Brown's inner circle. Photo:Robert Durell LA Times
On February 12, 2015, summoned by gold-embossed invitations, members of the ruling energy elite gathered in the glittering splendor of the Julia Morgan Ballroom – one of the San Francisco Bay Area’s posh venues – to honor one of their own and show their solidarity with him in his current travails.
That would be Michael Peevey (left), who recently stepped down from the Presidency of the California Public Utilities Commission (CPUC) after a 12-year reign amid a barrage of investigations and revelations about backroom dealing between him, his colleagues and staff, and the utility officials they were supposed to be regulating.
At the time of the gala in the grandeur of the JMB, Peevey’s home had been recently raided by state and Federal law enforcement agents intent on seizing evidence for their ongoing investigations. A trove of 65,000 e-mails just released by Pacific Gas & Electric (PG&E) detailing the interactions of utility and Commission personnel was already revealing alarming, plot-thickening evidence.
At issue were so-called ex parte communications between utility executives and CPUC officials conducted in private out of public view and process. Such interactions are supposed to be reported in writing to the CPUC proceeding participants, as “ex-parte” meetings. Apparently, under Peevey, there were a lot that were not.
The ornate Julia Morgan Ballroom was the venue for $250-a-plate Peevey gala with proceeds going to the UC Berkeley's Goldman School of Business.
Peevey Ex Parte Party Poopers
So, not everyone at the entrance to the JMB that night was there to celebrate Mr. Peevey’s legacy. Slightly outnumbering the team of security men were protesters holding a news conference at the door as the celebrants entered. (Full disclosure, EON both documented and participated. Scroll down for video reports and media links).
MC-ing the conference, covered by media from radio, print and TV, was Ray Lutz of the San Diego-based CitizensOversight.org, who had set up a podium and sound system and articulated his many concerns with the way Peevey’s PUC did business.
“CPUC now a rogue agency” – Former CPUC President Joins Protestors, Speaks Out
Most prominent among the speakers was former CPUC President, Loretta Lynch, Peevey’s predecessor, who minced no words in denouncing the corporate capture of the CPUC under Peevey and labeling the evening’s gala as “one big ex parte meeting” behind closed doors.
For a former Commission President to show up and speak out publicly on behalf of rate-payers at the event underlined the seriousness of the current CPUC situation and the urgent need for focused public attention and action.
Citing the progressive purposes that led almost a century ago to the founding of the CPUC by then Gov. Hiram Johnson in response to public outrage at the corporate crimes of the time, former CPUC President Lynch called for today’s Californians to rise up and demand substantive reforms in the now-compromised and discredited Commission, whose mandate is protection of the public good, not corporate profits. See her recent Chronicle Op-Ed piece : Guidelines for the post-Peevey era of the CPUC
Who Pays for the ‘Smart Meter’ Fiasco?
Mary Beth Brangan of EON, an official intervenor at the CPUC on behalf of the public’s interests in the ‘smart meter’ forced deployment controversy, is part of a coalition of citizen groups which oppose that deployment as a threat to human health and safety, privacy, grid security and democratic choice. Over 57 cities, counties and one tribe joined in various forms of opposition to the forced installation of ‘smart’ meters. That strong coalition was infiltrated, spied on and labeled ‘insurgents’ by PG&E management.
The CPUC, now revealed by the released emails to have been part of that behind-the-scenes blocking of action to remedy the extremely real ratepayer concerns and injuries, ordered a charade of an investigation, and PG&E was ultimately forced to pay a small fine to the state’s general fund. The CPUC hid its complicity at the time but that is now being thoroughly revealed through the released emails.
EON joins many others in saying the patterns of practice revealed by the e-mail record and the cloud of corruption surrounding Peevey’s departure from the Commission throw the legitimacy and legality of all the proceedings and decisions made under his administration into doubt.
EON has filed for a rehearing of the recent CPUC ‘smart’ meter opt-out decision which forces customers to pay an extortionate fee not to have electro-toxic, privacy-violating wireless transmitters attached to their residences. Furthermore we believe the current decision is unjust and illegal in its attempts to strip municipal and county elected officials of their constitutionally mandated power and responsibilities to protect the safety and privacy of their constituents. It actually asserts that utilities’ rights trump locally elected officials in regard to municipal franchise agreements that are used to regulate utilities’ activities in local jurisdictions.
At the press conference, Brangan pointed out the parallel methods used by the CPUC in both the San Onofre proceeding to determine who pays for So Cal Edison’s costly mistakes and mismanagement and the ‘smart’ meter proceeding that determined who should bear the cost of opting out of harmful and dangerous ‘smart’ meters. She emphasized the need for true regulator protection for ratepayers against the powerful utilities.
Who Pays for San Onofre?
San Diego attorney Mike Aguirre and his law partner Maria Severson added their pressure and litigation to that of the city of San Bruno’s that led to the revealing release of the 65,000 e-mails. Aguirre and Severson recently published a report detailing their findings of “Malfeasance and Institutional Corruption at the California Public Utilities Commission.” [ pdf here ] ( Scroll down for our interviews with Severson and Aguirre )
Aguirre called for an investigation into why the CPUC under Peevey ruled that ratepayers must pay $3.5 billion for electricity they will never get from Southern California Edison’s San Onofre nuclear power plant, which has been permanently shut down because of faulty and illegal decisions made by the utility’s management.
However, even though San Onofte nuclear reactors are shut down, the plant must continue to store thousands of metric tons of highly radioactive nuclear waste, currently stored in thin steel containers that the NRC says may crack from the marine environment. [ For more information on this vital issue – how to manage hundreds of thousands of tons of radioactive waste that is deadly for longer than human civilization has yet existed, now kept on-site at over 100 nuclear plants around the country with no ecologically safe facilities to go to – visit Donna Gilmore’s excellent website: SanOnofreSafety.org ]
Who Will Defend Diablo Whistleblowers?
Steve Zeltzer of the Labor Project called for protection of whistleblowing workers. He pointed out that both PG&E and Southern California Edison fired and retaliated against workers who tried to address serious safety issues. If workers concerned about what they see endangering the public can’t speak out and get results, we all suffer. The real results are the deaths, injuries and devastation in San Bruno, as well as the San Onofre radiation leaks and thousands of injuries and many fires from ‘smart’ meters.
He demanded that not only CPUC officials but colluding PG&E and So Cal Edison executives be indicted and prosecuted for their criminal acts that resulted in deaths and injuries and the highest electricity rates in the country.
Video Reports and Media Links are below:
Protesting Peevey’s (ex parte) Party
On February 12, 2015, dozens of the closest elite friends of out-going CPUC President Michael Peevey’s paid $250 per plate to gather at the posh Julia Morgan Ballroom in downtown San Francisco in celebration of Mr. Peevey’s ‘lifetime accomplishments.’
Greeting them at the door were protestors – including Loretta Lynch, his predecessor as Commission President. They came not to celebrate, but to condemn and expose the culture of corruption Peevey’s 12 year reign has left behind.
Speakers include former California Public Utilities Commission President Loretta Lynch; Ray Lutz of CitizenOversight.org; EON’s Mary Beth Brangan; Steve Zeltzer of the Labor Video Project; and San Diego attorney Mike Aguirre.
Viewer Embed Code:
From CBS Channel 5: San Francisco Dinner Honoring Ex-CPUC Exec Accused Of Shady Dealings Met With Protests
From NBC – Jul 31, 2013 Flown, Wined and Dined on Lobbyists’ Dimes?
CPUC president accepted $165,000 in free travel from nonprofits and special interests in past six years
EON Skype Interview Busting CPUC Backroom Deals – Maria Severson
In this Skype interview, San Diego attorney Maria Severson talks about the implications of revelations from PG&E’s trove of 65,000 e-mail exchanges between its executives and California Public Utilities Commission officials, including former CPUC President Peevey.
(We regret that the audio and video quality in this interview conducted via Skype is not up to our usual standards. But we believe the content is important to make public.)
EON Video Who Pays for San Onofre? – Mike Aguirre
Attorney Mike Aguirre and his law partner Maria Severson are at the center of the emerging revelations about CPUC officials’ too cozy relationships with the officials of the utilities they are supposed to regulate. In this May 2014 interview Aguirre explains the key issues in this now-expanding case. He tells how his attempts to question then CPUC President Peevey provoked an outburst that may have marked the beginning of Peevey’s current troubles.
…It was a bombshell disclosure by any measure: the top utility regulator in California sketching out a multibillion-dollar deal with the senior Edison lawyer in secret at a luxury hotel in Warsaw, Poland…. Pickett, whose house is walking distance from Peevey’s home in the La Canada Flintridge section of Los Angeles, jotted down the potential points of agreement, which Peevey kept.
Dan Walters Daily: Michael Peevey tribute is improper
Published on Feb 10, 2015
Despite revelations of questionable professional conduct, California’s political elite will gather this week to honor former Public Utilities Commission President Michael Peevey, Dan says. (February 11, 2015)
Teams of researchers are indexing, archiving and examining the recently released trove of 120,000+ PG&E/CPUC e-mail exchanges. Attorneys are pressing for release of more e-mail exchanges with Southern California Edison (SCE). Watch this space for reporting on more revelations as they emerge.
If you like EON’s work, you can support it, whatever your budget level, here.
Posted inUncategorized|Comments Off on Peevey's (ex parte) Party Protested – "The CPUC is now a rogue agency."
Sandi Maurer of EMF Safety Network addresses a people's press conference on the CPUC's 'smart meter' opt-out decision, MC-ed by EON's Mary Beth Brangan, Dec. 18, 2014. EON photo
Technocratic Tyranny and Corruption Trump Democratic Choice
His supporters say he’s right up there with Muhammad Ali & the Pope.
Victims of his ‘smart meter’ opt-out decision want him in jail.
By James Heddle
EON – The Ecological Options Network
Merry Christmas…You, the People!
The December 18, 2014 going-away party ending Michael Peevey’s 12-year tenure as President of the California Public Utilities Commission was quite a show. A parade of over 30 of his closest, most sycophantic friends had signed up to begin the routine ‘public comment period’ by giving lengthy speeches celebrating Peevey’s alleged accomplishments and virtues.
One former fellow Commissioner, in the sermonic tones of a revivalist preacher, compared him to Muhammed Ali and the Pope.
Peveey’s daughter had hired a videographer to make a record of the celebration that she planned give her father for a Christmas present. Her camera got an exclusive down-in-front position. The rest of the camera people were confined to the back of the room. No Time Limit on Adulation
Up on the dais, presiding President Peevey appeared humbly unmoved by the encomiums being showered upon him by the adoring courtiers thus assembled. But it was noticed by those of us who had attempted to present testimonies in many previous public comment periods that the President did not impose on his friends the same 1-3 minute time limits we were used to his rigidly enforcing on us.
To be voted on by the Commissioners that day was a decision as to whether people could opt-out of having wireless, electro-magnetic pulse-emitting so-called ‘smart meters’ installed on their homes. The mass, forced installation of such meters had been Peevey’s Pet Project for years. It was billed as the infrastructure to enable creation of a wireless ‘smart energy grid,’ which was being sold by corporations world-wide as ‘a solution to climate change.’ In practice, the scheme is turning out to be a total crock. (To find out why, go to GettingSmarterAboutTheSmartGrid.org ) All this risk yet studies by various attorneys general, including Illinois and the auditor-general of Ontario, Canada’s legislature, have shown these meters result in little to no energy savings and no benefits to ratepayers. Instead, rates have gone up.
The super-hubristic, techno-utopian (money-making) vision calls for a global ‘Internet Of Things (IOT)’ – a whole new generation of wireless, ‘smart’ appliances (that everyone will have to buy) in constant mutual communication. Not only will you be able to talk to your air conditioner or your refrigerator from the road on your cell phone, but they will talk back to you, relaying commands for minute-to-minute energy consumption limits from your local Big ‘Green’ Brother utility.
In the process, you and your family members and your neighborhood and the rest of the world’s population would be bathed 24/7 in a constant shower of electro-magnetic pollution inimical to human health and happiness.
These guys are really crazy.
Josh Hart of StopSmartMeters.org speaks at the people's press conference on the CPUC's 'smart meter' opt-out decision, Dec. 18, 2014. EON photo
West Marin – a Cradle of the ‘Smart’ Meter ‘Insurrection’
Public opposition to the forced ‘smart meter’ build-out began in Sonoma and Marin Counties and spread. EON is proud to have organized the first public meeting on the issue at the Pt. Reyes Dance Palace. West Marin communities fought for and got an installation moratorium. West Marin residents, to the delight of national media, were famously arrested for blocking installation trucks. Stop the ‘smart meters’ is now a national and international movement.
But on Dec. 18th, the Commission was poised to give Peevey another Christmas-cum-going-away present better than his daughter’s video. They were apparently going to make Peevey’s Pet Project a fixture of post-Peevey California life.
According to the proposed decision: Individual home residents would be allowed to opt-out for an initial fee and on-going monthly payments that would terminate after three years. But residents of clustered housing units, private businesses and the elected governments of community municipalities would not be permitted to opt-out. Peevey’s rules.
Playing in a Rigged Game – ‘Exhausting our remedies.’
The CPUC’s decision-making process, called a ‘proceeding,’ had stretched, with many delays and bureaucratic convolutions, over more than three years.
As official ‘intervenors’ in that Proceeding, our organization, EON, the Ecological Options Network, had worked with other intervenor groups like the EMF Safety Network in an attempt to defend the general public’s interest vis a vis the profit-driven interests of investor owned utilities (aptly called IOU’s for short) like PG&E and Southern California Edison (SCE).
Our involvement had been an eye-opening one. We slowly came to realize that we were playing in a rigged game – one in which cozy cronyism and corrupt collusion between Commissioners and their staff with IOU executives against the public interest was – and continues to be – the norm .
We were labeled ‘insurgents’. We were infiltrated and spied upon by PG&E agents using assumed names. The IOU was eventually fined for its spying activities, but the paltry amount went to the state general fund, not to the targeted, victimized groups, i.e., we ‘insurgents.’ In a technocracy, dissent is treason.
Steve Zeltzer of the Labor Project tells President Peevey he should be in jail in this frame from the CPUC's in-house video. Mr. Peevey urged Zeltzer to 'be more polite.'
Key Issues Ignored
None of the valid issues repeatedly raised by us intervenors in the Proceeding – well-documented damaging human health effects, fire safety, violations of privacy and informed democratic choice, cyber-hackability and energy grid security – were ever considered. They were constantly promised to be taken up later, but never were.
Meanwhile, PG&E was slapped with over 30 Federal indictments for its negligence and corruption in the San Bruno gas explosion disaster . A follow-up investigation turned up a trove of e-mails documenting corrupt, lovy-dovy collusion between utility executives and Commissioners and staff…including Peevey. Business as usual at the good ol’ PUC.
The opt-out decision violated a number of points of law, which will be contested both in the CPUC process, and in the courts, as we intervenors ‘exhaust our remedies’ by continuing to protest in the flawed CPUC Proceeding process, thus maintaining our legal ‘standing’ as aggrieved parties entitled to eventually ‘sue the bastards. ‘
Protestors hold signs with the names of 'smart meter' health victims in this frame from the CPUC's in-house video.
The Opt-Out Decision = Extortion
Pay us and we won’t break your kneecaps. Pay us and we won’t install an electro-toxic devise on your home. Mafia goons, or CPUC technocrats, a shakedown is a shakedown, is a shakedown.
In practice, the decision means that the few individual residents that can afford to pay to keep their non-wireless, analogue meters will be lonely islands in a sea of electromagnetic radiation emitted by their neighbors’ wireless meters all communicating wirelessly with each other 24/7/365.
Local elected authorities will be blocked from exercising their statutory mandate to protect the health, safety, privacy and security of their constituents. The increasing numbers of ‘electro-sensitive’ people being made sick and driven from their homes and work places by the growing ‘soup’ of electro-magnetic pollution will have no place to run to.
So, under a toxic cloud of corruption, celebrated by sycophants and cronies, Michael Peevey bowed out in a synthetic cloud of glory. But not before opponents of the ‘smart meter’ opt-out movement had our say.
We held a press conference on the CPUC steps before the meeting. After the orchestrated love fest in the ‘public comment’ period, protestors insisted on reading the names and quoting the testimonies of the many victims of wireless ‘smart meter’ health effects who have been forced to become EMF refugees. The demonstrators called for Peevey’s criminal prosecution. They promised to continue their legal battles and public information campaigns.
After reluctantly listening, the unelected Commissioners broke for lunch – which Peevey insisted was their ‘right’ – then unanimously approved Peevey’s Pet Project.
‘We have not yet begun to fight!’
That’s not the end of the story. As informed public opposition to ‘smart meters’ continues to grow nation- and, indeed, world-wide, and as the claimed selling points for the SM built-out continue to be proven egregiously false, our fight to reverse the CPUC’s ill-considered decision will continue and eventually prevail. Meanwhile, ‘smart meter’ installer trucks will be invading West Marin and other communities soon and coming to a house near you…maybe your own. Find out how to opt-out, get informed on this important issue, share information with your neighbors, and join our movement.
Help roll back the roll-out.
Marin County Sheriff's Deputies arrest Katharina Sandizell-Smith (left) and Kristin McCrory (right) for blocking 'smart' meter installation trucks in Inverness Park, California, Wednesday, December 29, 2010. Photo: Courtesy of Scotts Valley Neighbors Against Smart Meters
The CPUC’s Flawed ‘Smart Meter’ Ruling will not stop the Drive for Community Wide, No Cost Opt-Outs.
Public Resistance to Wireless Pollution
Almost exactly four years ago, June McCrory and Katharina Sandizell-Smith, two young West Marin mothers, made national news by blocking the Inverness road to ‘smart’ meter installers and becoming among the first in the U.S. to be arrested over the meters. Their arrests shocked many in the industry into realizing that all was not well with their plans.
After an unprecedented multi year delay, a final decision on this contentious issue will be voted on by the California Public Utilities Commission (CPUC) Dec. 18, 2014.
Those of us in West Marin and Fairfax became leaders in the fight against forced installation of so-called ‘smart’ meters. We joined leaders in Sebastopol and Scotts Valley and then beyond in vociferously resisting because of health, safety, security and privacy concerns which we testified about at Marin city council meetings.
Fairfax City Council’s resolution asserting the right of communities to opt out helped kick off what eventually became 57 cities, counties and one tribe to officially object. Many called for moratoriums on installation; over a dozen made installation illegal.
Beginning early in 2010, we brought our concerns about so-called ‘smart’ meters to the attention of folks here in West Marin at a packed meeting at the Dance Palace.
PG&E Agents Lied and Spied, Labeled Us ‘Insurgents’
Our Marin County based online group, SmartWarriorMarin, initially the most active, was infiltrated by PG&E workers using false names. Later, when PG&E’s ‘smart’ meter project director, William Devereaux, tried to infiltrate the EMFSafety Coalition’s online group with a false name, Ralph, he neglected to remove his real name from his email and was recognized. Shortly thereafter, PG&E released hundreds of emails to the media that it had purloined from our group strategy discussions. In e-mail exchanges between executives, opponents of ‘smart’ meters were referred to as ‘insurgents.’ Subsequently the CPUC ordered an investigation into the PG&E spying and PG&E was eventually forced to pay a $390,000 fine to the CA general fund as well as to institute a code of ethics for similar online situations.
We had wondered when we organized to be at the Santa Rosa truck yard at 7:30 am one chilly morning in 2010 to block the ‘smart’ meter installation trucks, how the trucks had completely vanished! The company had gotten the message from our email discussion and had moved them before we came.
Massive Public Testimony
For years, hundreds of people spoke out at the bi-weekly CPUC business meetings in San Francisco. PG&E and CPUC President Michael Peevey were getting nervous. People related similar heart-wrenching stories of being totally physically devastated by the effects of the ‘smart’ meter’s incessant pulsing microwaves. Many people close to banks of multiple meters in apartment buildings or condominiums, were especially injured. Finally after sitting through many hundreds of such testimonies, President Peevey declared that an opt out would be offered and established an official CPUC proceeding to work out the details.
Playing in a Rigged Game
After producing dozens of videos, writing articles, researching and writing blogs, organizing events and giving presentations, chasing installer trucks out of Bolinas and blocking trucks with friends in Stinson Beach, testifying at and videotaping CPUC meetings, my partner and EON co-director, Jim and I became legal intervenors on behalf of the public at the CPUC proceeding. We argued for community wide opt out as well as for no cost opt out. After all, we never opted in – why should we be forced to pay to not have something? Doesn’t being forced to pay to not be harmed constitute extortion?
Once the official proceeding began, those of us who were now embroiled in the Byzantine CPUC rules no longer showed up at the regular business meetings and the hubbub somewhat quieted. Peevey boasted at a CPUC meeting that he was praised “by the Whitehouse” for effectively dealing with the activists. (Federal stimulus funds were behind the rollout.) It was true, the furor died down, with the energy being dissipated by legal maneuvers.
Nevertheless, we all continued on.
We here in Marin, together with our colleagues in Sebastopol and Santa Cruz, gathered the critical information damning the ‘smart’ meter technology and set a tone that has reverberated throughout the world. Pushback against microwave emitting meters is now happening everywhere throughout the U.S., Canada, Australia and Europe.
Medical, Cyber-Security and Safety Warnings Ignored
After repeated thorough investigations, our fears about the techno plan were validated again and again. The World Health Organization’s International Agency for Cancer Research, IARC, concluded that microwaves in the frequencies used by wireless devices, including ‘smart’ meters, are a class 2 B , possible carcinogen, as is asbestos, arsenic and benzene. (If the peer-reviewed studies that weren’t allowed to be considered by IARC had been included, many independent scientists believe that microwave frequencies should be classified as a class 1 A carcinogen.) Can you think of another instance where it is legal to force a class 2 B carcinogen device onto your home?
The American Academy of Environmental Medicine issued a letter directly to the CPUC calling for an immediate moratorium on installation of the meters, citing many peer-reviewed studies showing biological effects from pulsing microwave frequencies.
Security experts constantly warn of dramatically increased vulnerability to the electrical grid by cyber attacks because of wireless ‘smart’ meters. James Woolsey, former head of the CIA has said that the wireless ‘smart’ meter technologies make the grid stupid.
Thousands of fires have been reported and at least one California and one Nevada death caused by the meter fires. These have been dealt with by utility out of court settlements with gag orders. Canadian Saskatchewan utility CEO Robert Watson resigned in disgrace because of having to recall all meters due to a rash of fires. Plus now utilities are profiting from selling individual ratepayers’ private data gathered by meters.
All this risk and yet studies by various attorneys general, including Illinois and the auditor-general of Ontario, Canada’s legislature, have shown these meters result in little to no energy savings and no benefits to ratepayers. Instead, rates have gone up.
Since the meters continuously bounce thousands of powerful microwave emissions between neighboring meters 24/7, (signals can travel 1 mile) an individual opt out doesn’t remove the harmful emissions. Multiple banks of meters on apartments and condominiums produce really lethal amounts of radiation; therefore, community wide opt out is the only solution.
Though stating in the ‘smart’ grid proceeding that health issues would be addressed in the opt-out proceeding, Peevey and the CPUC Judge did not allow any health information to be submitted at all. They then claimed that since we had not presented any convincing data they determined there were no health effects!
Peevey says, “Community-wide opt-outs are ‘undemocratic!’”
Unfortunately, at the Dec. 4 CPUC meeting, the Commissioners discussed the proposed decisions and decided against allowing communities to opt out and to require those refusing a ‘smart’ meter to pay for the privilege of not having one. Mr. Peevey actually ridiculed as ‘undemocratic’ communities that voted for community wide opt out.
Though it will still be possible to opt out, you will have to pay a $75 fee upfront and then $10 extra per month; low income CARE ratepayers pay $10 upfront and $5 per month, pricing it out of range for many poor people.
Come and Express Your Outrage…
We encourage everyone outraged at this injustice and willful ignoring of people pleading on behalf of their health, safety, security and privacy to be at the December 18 meeting to demand community opt out and no fees. 8:30 AM, California Public Utilities Commission, Van Ness at McAllister, San Francisco.
We may have lost this round, but this patently illegal affront to people’s right to health and safety and to the right of elected officials of cities and counties to protect their constituents, will be challenged in court. [ Download a PDF copy of this article here. ]
Mary Beth Brangan and Jim Heddle are Co-Directors of EON, the Ecological Options Network. They are award-winning film-makers of Public Exposure: DNA, Democracy and the Wireless Revolution and many other social & environmental issue documentaries produced in the last two decades which have been broadcast and toured nationally and internationally; aired in Congress, the United Nations, on PBS, ABC, CNN, cable; and used in parliaments, universities, libraries and by citizens’ organizations and NGO’s worldwide. Residents of Bolinas, they organize, educate and produce media supporting people confronting current survival challenges. www.eon3.net; YouTube.com/eon3; EON3emfblog.net
If you like EON’s work, you can support it, whatever your budget level, here.
What the CPUC's Opt-Out Decision Ignores. Cartoon: J Heddle - EON
By James Heddle
Four years of informed, angry, pleading public testimony on a virtually bi-weekly basis telling them of the personal health, public safety, privacy violation and national cyber- and energy-security threats posed by the forced saturation deployment of wireless so-called ‘smart’ meters failed to persuade the five unelected, political appointees that perch on the dais at the California Public Utility Commission (CPUC).
None of these urgent public health, safety, privacy, and security concerns have been considered in the Commission ‘Proceeding’ dealing with the question of whether-or-not individuals, apartment complexes, communities and municipalities could choose to ‘opt-out’ of the coordinated government/industry wireless ‘smart’ meter roll-out push being simultaneously implemented in many countries around the world.
On Thursday, Dec. 18th, the Commissioners are expected to vote for a decision stunningly symptomatic of the current state of democratic public process in America: Screw the Public Will. Discounting all legitimate public concerns, the ruling will allow individual households to ‘opt-out’ for an initial penalty fee and an extortionate monthly payment.
But no collective opt-outs will be allowed – meaning all neighborhoods will be drenched 24/7 in inescapable electro-magnetic soup. No place to hide.
So much for democratic process and ‘consumer choice.’ So much for health, safety, privacy and security.
Down from Davos
The whole corporately-driven wireless ‘smart’ meter roll-out craze on the part of gas, power and water utilities world-wide can be traced back to the government-corporate conclave known as the World Economic Forum which meets annually in the swank Swiss resort town of Davos.
Conceived in the conference rooms, cocktail lounges and dining halls of snowy Davos and codified into technical papers, budget spread sheets, strategic planning documents and public relations scenarios by corporate and government staffers, the scheme was sold to gullible officials and publics as a necessary response to climate change.
The global ‘smart’ meter roll-out – just a step toward the ultimately envisioned ‘internet of things’ in which a whole new generation of ‘smart’ wireless appliances from juicers to air conditioners to vibrators will communicate with each other in a kind of automated global brain – would give consumers more awareness of and control over their energy usage and allow the integration of ‘intermittent’ renewable energy sources like wind and solar into the national energy grid. That’s how the sales-pitch went. None if it has proven true.
But Obama Administration bought the hype, drank the ‘smart grid’ cool aid and shoveled billions of big federal bucks into the pipeline to support it.
Here in California, CPUC President Michael Peevey slurped the smart meter cool aid and made it his business to impose ‘smart meter madness’ on the entire population of California.
That’s how it comes to pass that next Thurs. – as Mike Peevey ends his CPUC career and rides off under a lowering cloud of corruption investigations – the Commission will mark his passing by voting into place his legacy – an essentially criminal act which will put at risk the health, privacy, safety and security of the state’s entire population. Hellofa job, Mike!
Please join many other outraged ratepayers and public citizens at the CPUC 8:30 AM, next Thursday 505 Van Ness Avenue and let the Commissioners know that this illegitimate decision defying the public will cannot stand. It is the end of a flawed CPUC Proceeding, but only the beginning of public opposition that will ultimately roll back what will come to be seen as one of the most harebrained and disastrous technocratic decisions in the history of California. [ Download PDF version here. ]
James Heddle co-directs EON – The Ecological Options Network. EON has been an official intervenor in the CPUC Opt-Out Proceeding. Eon3EMFblog.net On FaceBook: EON – the Ecological Options Network On Twitter: EonNewsNet
For more: EMFsafetyNetwork.org StopSmartMeters.org
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Posted inUncategorized|Comments Off on Let’s tell the CPUC: “ It’s not ‘smart’ to defy the will of the people.”