[ Editors’ note – Some of the EON Team will be in DC for the next week covering the Sierra Club No Nukes Activist Strategy Summit May 4, 2012 – May 7, 2012. Program PDF here. This will be the last blog post for a few days. Watch this space for a full report and videos ASAP. ]
CPUC Just Can’t Loose Those Irritatin’ Opt-Out Blues
“Pursuant to Rule 11.1 of the Commission’s Rules of Practice and Procedure, County of Marin, Town of Fairfax, California, and The Alliance For Human And Environmental Health (“Joint Movants”) request an immediate Commission ruling directing Pacific Gas and Electric Company (“PG&E”) to temporarily suspend further deployments of SmartMeters in the jurisdictions identified herein until resolution of the community opt-out issues designated for Phase 2 of this proceeding.”
That was the opening paragraph of a ‘motion to stay’ filed May 1, 2012 with the California Public Utilities Commission (CPUC). Supported by strong statements from Marin County Board of Supervisors President Steve Kinsey and Fairfax Town Council Member Larry Bragman, the motion argues that, because of the confusion surrounding the so-called “smart meter” opt-out “deadline,” and the unresolved issues of community-wide opt-out options and costs justifications, PG&E customers would suffer irreparable harm if deployment of the wireless meters continues before these issues are resolved.
The initial ‘joint movants’ are hoping that other jurisdictions, parties and groups will sign on or file supportive motions to cover the whole state.
The CPUC’s own Division of Ratepayer Advocates points out in a recent study – Case Study of Smart Meter System Deployment Report – that the purported energy and cost savings being claimed for the ‘smart meter’ deployment are unlikely to materialize based on data collected so-far.
An EMF ALEC on Steroids?
Strong and growing public opposition to ‘smart meter’ deployment in California and, indeed, around the country and around the world has the ‘smart grid’ advocates and technocrats scratching their heads. Apparently there are many parts of the word ‘NO’ these suits just can’t understand.
Two organizations – Global Smart Grid Federation and the International Smart Grid Action Network (ISGAN) – have been formed to help ‘educate’ reluctant consumers and overcome such ‘barriers’ to the plan as democratic choice. A recent Federation report was prepared for the Global Smart Grid Federation (GSGF) by SmartGrid Canada.
The Federation has active chapters in many countries including Australia, Canada, Europe, Great Britain, Ireland, Japan, Korea and the US. Their job is to help utilities avoid being “overly technocratic” in their approach.
According to ISGAN, “Smart grid represents a novel convergence of several different groups of technologies—traditional power sector transmission and distribution technologies, information and communication technologies, advanced power electronics and control devices, sensing and monitoring equipment, and cybersecurity systems—as well as the operational practices that integrate these technologies into unified systems. ISGAN’s purpose is to help countries accelerate progress to their national-level smart grid goals and to facilitate their adoption of more ambitious targets.” Read more here. And here.
An internationally coordinated campaign to influence national policies on energy and communications? You don’t have to be a ‘conspiracy theorist’ to imagine a cabal of besuited technocrats aiming to control the global ‘smart grid’ from a cave in Davos. That’s what the ‘motion to stay’ is all about folks. Rolling back the Global Bonehead Grid roll-out.
Scroll down for links to posts on this and other opt-out developments.
Elsewhere in the Nuclear News
Nuclear ‘Salp-Absorption’ at Diablo
Nukefree activists were having a brief experience of ‘salp esteem’ after the jellyfish-like sea creatures clogged Diablo Canyon nuclear reactor’s plumbing forcing a shutdown for several days. The reactor has now been restarted.
The San Onofre nuke remains shut down because of serious faults in its steam generator design. It was the scene of well-attended demonstrations this past weekend. Video reports from Ace Hoffman below with Dan Hirsch, Larry Agran and NRC Chairman Gregory Jaczko are below. Also, Mothers for Peace demands the NRC include results of post-fukushima earthquake study before considering diablo canyon license renewal application. Global Research TV reports on ‘Nuclear “Security” and Nuclear Hypocrisy,’ and ‘Radiation, Coverups and the Legacy of Fukushima.’ Linda Gunther debunks the Washington Post Fukushima reporting. Arnie Gundersen jousts with SoCal Edison.
That and more follows. Scroll on down…
PG&E’s Opt Out Fees Mired in Dispute and Procedural Flaws
Josh Hart – StopSmartMeters.org
Happy May Day everyone. Get away from your computer and get out in
the streets- it’s a beautiful day, at least in Northern California!
Revolutionary spirit (and tear gas) is in the air. Apart from a
historical day to celebrate and defend workers rights, May 1st also
happens to be the “deadline” for signing up for PG&E’s opt out
program. Yet it’s not really a deadline. You can opt in or out at
any time according to PG&E. And lacking justification for charging
the fees or forcing a smart meter, our domineering monopoly utility is
left with empty threats, legal ambiguities, and cheap intimidation
tactics to force their unwanted meters.
Let’s take a look at where this issue stands as of today: Read more
County of Marin, Fairfax seek to stop PG&E from installing more SmartMeters
By Richard Halstead
Marin Independent Journal
The county of Marin and the town of Fairfax are asking the California Public Utilities Commission to temporarily halt further installation of SmartMeters in their communities.
In a motion filed Monday with the commission, the two Marin County jurisdictions argue that Pacific Gas and Electric Co. should not install any more of the digital meters until the commission rules on whether entire communities can opt out en masse and whether the amount customers are being charged to opt out is fair. Read more.
SmartMeter opt-out deadline is May 1
David R. Baker
Sunday, April 29, 2012
In or out?
Pacific Gas and Electric Co. has asked customers who want to opt out of the utility’s controversial SmartMeter program to notify the company by Tuesday. That’s three months to the day since California regulators gave PG&E customers the choice of rejecting the wireless electricity and gas meters, which critics consider a threat to their privacy and health.
May 1 isn’t a firm deadline. Read more.[/caption]
S.F. upgrading city water meters with Wi-Fi device
David R. Baker
Sunday, April 29, 2012
San Francisco has been a hotbed of opposition to Pacific Gas and Electric Co.’s SmartMeters.
So why haven’t the city’s wireless water meters caused much of a stir?
Since 2010, the San Francisco Public Utilities Commission, which provides water service to city residents, has been quietly upgrading its meters with technology similar to that used by PG&E. The new water meters have a transmitter attached that relays their data automatically, over a wireless network – much like PG&E’s.
To date, the city has installed 81,000 of the new meters – replacing almost half of the water meters in San Francisco. About 95 people have objected, said Steve Ritchie, the commission’s assistant general manager for water. Of those, the commission has been able to convince 18 that the meters are safe and accurate.
The rest still have their older meters. The commission may create an opt-out plan for them but hasn’t done so yet.
“We’ve basically put them in a parking lot,” Ritchie said. “We want to talk to each one individually, understand their issues.” Read more.
Read more: http://www.sfgate.com/cgi-bin/article.cgi?f=/c/a/2012/04/28/BUTI1O9T0Q.DTL#ixzz1tliXcfcL
Diablo Canyon knocked offline, powerless against tiny jellyfish-like creature
Sea creatures are out in force, clogging the nuclear power plant’s intake screens
Global federation pushes for education by national governments
May 1, 2012 – SmartGridToday.com
Winning consumer support is the most difficult challenge to building the smart grid, according to “Global Smart Grid Federation report,” a free document the organization publicized last week. National governments are best positioned to educate consumers about grid modernization and can be effective mediators between consumers and utilities, it said.
Power pricing – and thus the strength of motivation – varies widely among member nations, from 8.3¢/KWH in Korea to 23.3¢/KWH in Ireland, the report said. Modernization projects “in their infancy now exist” in most member nations, it said.
“Not properly and adequately communicating the anticipated benefits of a project to stakeholders was cited as a reason for the unpopularity of the Boulder, Colo, Smart Grid City project,” the report said. Some utilities “risk being overly technocratic” in their approaches to a project, undervaluing the consumer, it said. That approach led to “poor consumer responses to smart metering trials in Australia and Europe,” it said.
Individual chapters were devoted to modernization efforts in several member nations or regions, including Australia, Canada, Europe, Great Britain, Ireland, Japan, Korea and the US. They summarized the incentives, regulatory environment and challenges facing each nation or region.
In Australia, smart meters “have become a controversial political issue,” though AMI rollouts are under way, the report said.
Popular reaction to Canada’s efforts has been “mixed,” the report said, with groups protesting smart meters based on privacy and health concerns.
In the US, “for utilities that articulated the benefits of smart metering, the consumer reaction has been positive. In other areas there has been major consumer pushback.” Read more.
“We won’t force smart meters to go on to any house or business at this time.”
KIUC board to consider smart meter opt-out plan
Vanessa Van Voorhis – The Garden Island The Garden Island | Posted: Tuesday, April 24,
Protestors of the Kaua‘i Island Utility Cooperative’s initiative to install smart meters take their message to Kapa‘a on Kuhio Highway fronting the Courtyard by Marriott at Coconut Beach where the KIUC Board met Tuesday afternoon to answer questions from the utility co-op’s members.
KAPA‘A — The Kaua‘i Island Utility Cooperative board is considering an opt-out program for members who do not want smart meters installed on their property, but meanwhile will defer installation upon request, KIUC CEO David Bissell said Tuesday.
“The board is saying we’ll allow the members a choice,” Bissell said at a board meeting held at Courtyard by Marriott at Coconut Beach in Kapa‘a. “We won’t force smart meters to go on to any house or business at this time.”
The board sometimes meets away from its office in Lihu‘e as part of its community outreach strategy. Read more.
Nuclear Loan Guarantees – Bad Investment or Corporate Handout?
By Dennis Kucinich, Beyond Nuclear
30 April 12
Nuke reactor restarted after creatures clog intake The Associated Press
SAN LUIS OBISPO, Calif.—The Diablo Canyon nuclear power plant has restarted its Unit 2 reactor six days after the California central coast plant was shut down because jellyfish-like creatures clogged seawater intake screens.
Pacific Gas & Electric spokesman Tom Cuddy says the Unit 2 reactor was safely returned to full power on Monday.
Southerly winds began blowing salps into the plant’s cooling water intake cove early last week. Salps are small barrel-shaped plankton tunicates similar to jellyfish.
Unit 2 was shut down on April 26 because salps clogged rolling screens at the San Luis Obispo County plant’s beach intake structure.
The Unit 1 reactor had been shut down earlier in April for scheduled refueling.
The twin-reactor PG&E plant generates enough power for more than 3 million homes in Central and Northern California.
As the so-called “international community” once again meets to mouth political platitudes about stopping nuclear proliferation, many are now pointing to the numerous pieces of evidence demonstrating that, contrary to their official position, these very governments are invested in the proliferation of nuclear materials and nuclear weapons around the globe.
This is the Global Research backgrounder from GRTV.ca
One year on from the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear disaster in Japan’s northeast, details continue to emerge about how the crisis was much worse than the government and TEPCO originally let on.
Joining us to discuss the legacy of Fukushima is Helen Caldicott, a physician, author and radio host who has spoken out for decades about the deadly effects of nuclear radiation.
Why the Washington Post’s Description of the Nuclear Disaster as “non-catastrophic” is both Callous and Erroneous Trivializing Fukushima
by LINDA PENTZ GUNTER – MAY 01, 2012
On April 23, 2012, the editorial board of the Washington Post proclaimed that the Fukushima nuclear disaster in Japan was “non-catastrophic.” The writers eagerly promoted nuclear power while omitting inconvenient deal-breakers such as cost, waste, safety, health risks and human rights. The board taunted Germany and Japan – and the anti-nuclear movement – for looking to renewables but misrepresented Germany’s successes. They showed a shocking disregard for the suffering in Japan due to a very real catastrophe that is by no means over. And they utterly ignored those who have already paid the price for the nuclear fuel chain, like indigenous uranium miners, and its newest victims, the children of Japan whose future has been stolen.
The following rebuttal can also be found, with more detail, on theBeyond Nuclear website.
Washington Post (WP): Nuclear “is the only proven source of low-emissions ‘baseload’ power.”
FACT: Renewable technologies can and do deliver baseload power. In many regions, peak wind and solar production match up well with peak electricity demand. Numerous case studies, including by theIntergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, predict that 80%-100% of the world’s energy supply could be met by renewables by mid-century.
WP: Germany and Japan are “giving up all of that guaranteed, low-carbon electricity generation in an anti-nuclear frenzy.”
FACT: Nuclear energy is “guaranteed” only as long as the electrical grid is reliable and when natural disaster struck in Japan, nuclear energy wasn’t so “guaranteed” but instead worsened the crisis. In Germany, renewable energy is revitalizing home-grown industries like steel and more people there work in the renewable sector (370,000 and growing) than in the nuclear (30,000) and coal industries (20,000) combined. No “frenzy” necessary. Read more.
Dan Hirsch April 29 2012 SanO Rally
May 1, 2012
San Luis Obispo Mothers for Peace
P.O. Box 3608
San Luis Obispo, CA 93403
For Immediate Release Contacts: Jane Swanson
April 30, 2012 Janeslo@me.com
cell (805) 440-1359
MOTHERS FOR PEACE DEMANDS NRC INCLUDE RESULTS OF POST-FUKUSHIMA EARTHQUAKE STUDY BEFORE CONSIDERING DIABLO CANYON LICENSE RENEWAL APPLICATION
On April 27, San Luis Obispo Mothers for Peace (SLOMFP) took action to ensure that the NRC’s consideration of Pacific Gas and Electric Company’s (PG&E’s) application for renewal of the Diablo Canyon operating license will include post-Fukushima accident risks and measures for protecting against them. SLOMFP asserts that PG&E’s environmental report for renewal of the reactor license should discuss the results of a new seismic study to be conducted in the next three years. MFP also argued that the environmental report must present a range of alternatives for meeting new post-Fukushima safety requirements.
Dartmouth Scientists Track Radioactive Iodine from Japan’s Nuclear Meltdown
POSTED ON APRIL 3, 2012 BY JOSEPH BLUMBERG
Radioactive iodine found by Dartmouth researchers in the local New Hampshire environment is a direct consequence of a nuclear reactor’s explosion and meltdown half a world away, says Joshua Landis, a research associate in the Department of Earth Sciences.
The failure of the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power facility, following the March 11, 2011, earthquake and tsunami, was the largest nuclear disaster since 1986 at Chernobyl. “We live on a really small planet and this demonstrates that what happens in Japan has the potential to affect us,” says Landis. Read more.
Analyst, Edison debate plant fix
Fred Swegles Register Writer
A nuclear consultant for the environmental group Friends of the Earth says defective new steam generators at the shut-down San Onofre Nuclear Generating Station near San Clemente cannot be fixed and need to be replaced.
“They need to order new ones and go back to Mitsubishi and force them to come up with new steam generators and eat the cost,” Arnie Gundersen of Fairewinds Energy Education said during a visit to the Surfrider Foundation in San Clemente this week.
Libbe HaLevy interviews Arnie Gundersen
Libbe HaLevy, M.A., CAC
Communications and Creativity Expert
CELL PHONE & WIRELESS NEWS
A close call: Why the jury is still out on mobile phones
Is a rise in brain tumours linked to the radiation sources we hold so close to our heads? Experts can’t agree on the answer
WHY OUR WORLD IS ELECTROPOLLUTED
How Industry Suppresses – and Government Denies – the Overwhelming Evidence of Harm
by Helke Ferrie
(Ed note: This is the first of a 2-part series on Electropollution. The second part, to run in April Vitality, will focus on solutions.) If something is invented by and for the military, it is certain to be effective and lethal. And industrial capitalists invariably view such military gizmos as having great profit potential – particularly if they’re re-packaged and promoted as beneficial to the public. Hence, the science behind atom bombs dropped on Japan in World War II led soon after to cancer radiation therapy and mammography – two of the most lucrative practices in modern medicine. Similarly, biological warfare weapons such as DDT and chemotherapy proved to be enormously lucrative in their peace-time applications – their deadly properties being undiminished despite re-packaging. Originally, the military objected to the declassification of both, but industry interests prevailed. Read more.
*Sonic.net Inc, CEO Dane Jasper writes, on his blog:
“Wireless is magic. You point two antennas at each other over a span of miles, and broadband comes out the other end. Most of the time.
I hate wireless.
Today, we sold our wireless network.” Read more.
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