Forcing America to Use Renewables

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Last fall, when the Energy Department handed out $3.4 billion to utilities to get them to deploy smart meters, the response was overwhelmingly negative in Bakersfield, CA, for example. A class action suit was filed against Pacific Gas & Electric, saying the smart meters jacked up homeowners’ energy rates.

Because many utilities and consumers have failed to rally behind the smart grid, the Energy Department April 8 announced it would sink $100 million into 54 different smart grid training programs across the country. This training outlay was described by the Energy Department as an attempt to “accelerate change.” The $100 million was called an investment in “workers of tomorrow” to create a green-collar workforce.

How about privacy with the grid? Communications industry attorney Michael Pryor says in an article on Smart Grid Customer Proprietary Network Information (CPNI) established by Congress to protect consumers of telecommunications services may govern the “use and distribution of personal, sensitive information that will be gathered as smart grid technologies are deployed….The CPNI rules create an overarching ‘duty’ on telecommunications carriers to protect the confidentiality of their customers’ proprietary data….Customers should be able to decide whether third parties are entitled to access it for purposes other than providing electric power….” But will they?

In an April blog, Guerry Waters, vice president of Oracle, reportedly the largest international software company wrote: “Most consumers and regulators” seem to accept that utilities should keep pace with technology….Nevertheless, many remain “unconvinced smart meters are a wise investment.” Some think utilities will collect and possibly resell their consumption information. A larger group fear that smart meters “will usher in a new rate structure that will disadvantage the poor and elderly and saddle them with inefficient appliances….Many think less costly measures could do more to save energy or lower bills.”

Currently, nearly half of the electricity the county uses comes from coal-fired power plants, which the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has threatened to shut down supposedly to control mercury emissions from aging power plants. Stricter boiler standards would affect refineries, paper mills, chemical factories, and other facilities. EPA may delay the restrictions in the face of industry opposition.

A June 13 story in The Wall Street Journal reports the 946- page EPA rule mandates that utilities install “maximum achievable control technology.” The rule, even by EPA’s estimate, is the most expensive in its history. Clearly, the goal is to kill the coal industry.

A Wall Street Journal article in April said not everybody thinks smart meters are “such a smart use of money.” Utility companies, it said, “are spending billions of dollars” outfitting homes and businesses with the advanced meters. Meters aren’t cheap. They run $250 to $500 each. These costs typically are passed on to consumers.

No wonder Obama warned three years ago that electricity rates for Americans “will necessarily skyrocket.”

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  • sedoanman

    Gotta stop that man before he stops us.

    • TomBenett


      Utilities and Health Departments based previous safety claims on World Health Organization (WHO).

      But June 2011, WHO says Wireless Smart Meter radiation is linked to CANCER (possible human carcinogen – same as Lead, DDT, etc), and that means it also damages bodies & brains (including children’s) in many ways, other than cancer.

      Video Interview: Nuclear Scientist, Daniel Hirsch, (5 minutes).

      Video Interview: Dr. Carpenter, New York Public Health Department, Dean of Public Health, (2 minutes).

      2-page Press Release:

  • tanstaafl

    Why does this administration always want to monitor what we are up to?

    • TomBenett


      1. The utility information generated by Wireless smart meters is NOT real-time and it is NOT formatted for customer use so it does NOT assist customers to use less energy or lower their utility bills. The information only assists the Utility Company to bill customers and shut off customer power remotely.

      2. In countries where Wireless smart meters are being installed, energy use is NOT decreasing, customer UTILITY BILLS ARE INCREASING, there are problems with SECURITY, HACKING, ELECTRICAL FIRES & ELECTRICAL INTERFERENCE.

      3. The Utility companies are salivating over eliminating the jobs of the full-time-with-benefit meter reader employees and replacing them with phone operators in India and the Philippines who read scripts to customers over the phone for $4 per day with-NO-Benefits. And the savings are NOT passed on to customers.

      4. Wireless smart meters are NOT mandated by the US Federal Energy Program, as California’s PG$E pretends.

      5. 42 Cities & Counties in California have taken positions AGAINST Wireless smart meters and 13 have passed Ordinances prohibiting Wireless meter installation.

      ALSO: every appliance has or will have its own electronic signature, so yes, Wireless smart meters will give your exact activity information to the utility company and the government will have access to every move you make in your home. Existing analog meters only provide total usage and therefore protect your privacy.

      High-tech home robbers (and HIGH-TECH CHILD MOLESTERS) will also hack this information and know exactly your habits and when you are not home (and WHEN YOUR CHILDREN ARE HOME).

    • CHARLEY 60

      Part of the patriot act. You have cameras showing your travel in car on the roads, foot travel on the street, who you call and from where, and on and on.You can't gather without them knowing it. It also says to have a civil demonstration by a crowd, not approved by a Government authority, is a act of terrorism and force can be used to stop it, and those involved prosecuted for trying to subvert the Government of the U.S. They need these laws to protect themselves in DC for what they have in store for us and now starting. The common man is screwed.

  • Raymond in DC

    "So, Immelt heads the Administration’s Council on Jobs and Competitiveness while at the same time continuing to serve as GE’s top dog." The only kind of capitalism this government seems to like is of the "crony" variety.

    As to the smart meters, what's unacknowledged is that the more wired our infrastructure becomes, the more vulnerable it is to sabotage. The next time the lights go out it may not be a blown transformer or lines brought down in a storm, or even a militant in some third-world backwater, but rather some kid in his mother's basement tapping into his "smart meter".