Press Release (ePRNews.com) - Millis, MA - Oct 28, 2015 - A consortium of advocacy groups filed complaints with Massachusetts Attorney General Maura Healey regarding the Worcester smart meter pilot and Department of Public Utilities smart meter order.
The groups are calling for the Baker administration to investigate the $48M National Grid pilot, financed by ratepayers, as “outcome-oriented research” that manufactured consent, concealed unfavorable data, and manipulated public perception concerning credible science, including claims that smart meters have been “proven safe.”
“Let’s be clear. … The problem is not technology, which unarguably brings countless benefits to modern life. The problem is with the over-extension of claims for technology’s usefulness and the worshipful adulation of technology even where it has fearful consequences. Most fundamentally, the problem is the willingness in Washington — for reasons of both venality and naïveté — to give technology a free pass.”
The Worcester pilot is five times more expensive and larger than required by the Green Communities Act. Among the more serious charges is the assertion that the MA DPU mis-characterized FCC exposure limits, misrepresented footnoted resources, and relied on testimony from a career tobacco scientist to negate citizen concerns. The complaints also challenge the controversial smart meter health report by Worcester’s Acting Commissioner of Public Health, and the property value report by Worcester’s Assessor. The complaints note lack of support by Worcester’s elected officials, citing concerns of politically motivated decision-based evidence making.
Industry articles reported that the Worcester pilot produced impressive energy savings during “critical peak periods” on days when consumers were asked to limit electric consumption, initially exaggerating pilot results. The program is over budget and behind schedule, and testing variables that will not be part of future smart meter deployment, including the free opt out, free technology, and prize incentives.
HaltMAsmartmeters spokesperson Patricia Burke stated, “Industry safety claims are sourced from testimony of one mercenary tobacco scientist, who, like the sociopath Bernie Madoff, has contributed to the suffering of millions of people. Electricity is an essential service, not a consumer choice like cigarettes or a particular car model. As scandals like the Volkswagen debacle come to light, in the face of an alarming lack of integrity and transparency, it would be negligent for the Commonwealth to proceed without independent oversight and investigation, especially regarding environmental impacts and human health. Forcing ratepayers to finance unproven and unsafe wireless infrastructure under the guise of sustainability is unethical, and diverts resources away from true environmental stewardship”
The US Office of the Interior noted that FCC limits are 30 years out of date, and the National Academies of Science identified 20 deficiencies in the research record, including lack of data on infants, children, and medically vulnerable individuals. In 2011, the World Health Organization’s International Agency for Research on Cancer classified radio frequency exposure a class 2B possible human carcinogen.
Maine smart meter opponents have filed an appeal against the state’s public utility commission ruling that smart meters are safe. The case goes to the State Supreme Court November 3rd in Portland.
Tulsa 9.12 Project, a conservative, grass-roots group, called for Oklahoma’s attorney general to bar further installations of smart meters while a variety of issues are evaluated. The Tulsa 9.12 press release states, “We are asking that all meters with transmitters be removed or … turned off until the meters can be proven biologically safe from the electromagnetic radiation transmissions,” adding that it wants proof all meters are properly grounded and protected against surges.
Michigan Attorney General Bill Schuette issued an opinion dismissed by the Michigan Public Service Commission that utility companies lack the authority to charge fees to customers that opt out of an advanced metering program. Lawmakers subsequently proposed a bill offering Michigan ratepayers meter choice, also citing concern for privacy and cyber-security. Rep. Stephen DiNatale of Fitchburg sponsored a similar opt-out bill for MA residents that has been held in committee.
Illinois Attorney General Lisa Madigan and Connecticut AG George Jepson opposed smart meter installations. New Jersey and Rhode Island regulators have not pursued statewide deployment. Indiana’s utility regulators rejected rate hikes to consumers to deploy smart meters.
Patricia Burke noted, “Massachusetts has abundant scientific, medical, and intellectual resources to be able to determine whether chronic inescapable exposures to pulsed radio frequencies and power line technologies are causing biological harm, including the onset of disabling electromagnetic hypersensitivity. Dr. Dominique Belpomme in France has identified bio-markers of EHS, which has been characterized as a pre-Alzheimer’s state. The Austrian Medical Association established a diagnostic protocol for EHS. Russia is far ahead of the US in protecting citizens from tissue stimulation or reproductive harm caused by exposure to non-ionizing radiation. The US is still using theoretical guidelines for exposure limits that cater to military priorities, and lagging far behind other nations in addressing emerging evidence of harm. The US has a terrible record for human experimentation on civilian populations without knowledge and consent. Many Worcester residents are non-consenting and non-benefiting participants in the WiMax pilot, and were not consulted when the pilot was approved. The Commonwealth could turn the tide away from this unfolding IT and human health disaster that has been fueled, literally, by tobacco science. ”