PRESS CONFERENCE ANNOUNCED
Ban ‘smart’ meter fight goes to PUC – Public health at known risk
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Wednesday, February 22, 2012
From the Office of Tom Cryer, Attorney at Law
Media inquiries for Tom Cryer: 318.797.8949
(Austin, TX – February 22, 2012) Thousands of upset and angry citizens have been at war with Texas utility companies over installation of ‘smart’ meters on homes and businesses for the past few years. “Smart” meters are digital meters that monitor electricity use every few minutes and report that data by wireless signal to receivers and towers and, ultimately, to the electric utility. The meters are being pressed by the utilities in anticipation of charging different rates for usage at different times of the day and night, providing the utilities with a premium for peak times and increasing their profits.
Utilities also claim that the smart meters will permit them to communicate with “smart” appliances, such as air conditioners, dryers and water heaters, turning them off when demands on the system would otherwise require adjustments in electricity distribution on the grid, saving utility companies money. Many, however, are opposed to the installation of the meters because they are a serious health risk, compromise the consumers’ privacy and provide no savings or conservation purposes.
The “smart” meters will not save the consumer any money, since he will be subjected to higher time of day based rates and to interruption of his use of appliances. The meters will not reduce the amount of electricity a customer uses nor will it result in any savings. Several state legislators have requested a moratorium on further installations until the meters can be tested because so many of their constituents have reported that after installation of the meters their bills suddenly became much bigger although their use of electricity did not change.
Consumers are opposed to the installation of these “smart” meters for numerous reasons, from potentially deadly radio frequency radiation to outside interference with their use of electricity to privacy. Those opposed over the issue of privacy are concerned because wireless transmissions can be intercepted by anyone with a receiver. One hacker recently demonstrated how he could, and did, with a $30 device readily available in the marketplace, intercept data on households at will. Consumers claim their privacy is being violated and their personal electricity consumption is now becoming someone’s paycheck. Consumers are also concerned that thieves and burglars would have the same access to that data and would be able to determine when no one us usually at home.
However, by far and away, the biggest issue is the known health risks ignored by the utility companies and TDSPs (Transmission and Distribution Service Provider). Devvy and John Kidd, residents of Big Spring, went nose to nose with ONCOR in July 2011, when ONCOR attempted to install a ‘smart’ meter on their home. Devvy is an investigative journalist who began researching the health risks and due to her husband’s medical issues decided to fight installation. When ONCOR decided to play hard ball by threatening to terminate power to their home, Mrs. Kidd hired constitutional law attorney, Tom Cryer, to represent her and her husband. Mr. Kidd is a retired U.S. Army Colonel and classified as medically disabled.
While state law prohibits terminating power to any home where a disabled person resides, that didn’t stop ONCOR from flipping the switch on Mr. & Mrs. Sage who live in Allen, TX. Mrs. Sage has a bad heart and due to their concern about the ‘smart’ meter, switched it out and installed a new analog meter. ONCOR, without notice, turned out the lights on January 31, 2012. The Sage’s still have no power despite making a personal plea to State Rep. Ken Paxton requesting he contact the PUC and ask them to issue an emergency order for ONCOR to restore the Sage’s power until this situation comes before the full commission.Although neither federal nor state laws make the installation of the “smart” meters mandatory, utilities and their contractors routinely tell consumers that they are required by law to accept the radiation emitting devices in their homes and businesses. While the utilities are misrepresenting the law to consumers, utilities are not disclosing to consumers that the “smart” meters flood their homes and offices with potentially harmful radio frequency (RF) radiation and electromagnetic frequency (EMF) radiation throughout the day and night.
“After decades of study the scientific community and government health related agencies are warning people to avoid additional exposures to RF and EMF radiation because it has been linked to many ailments including minor issues, such as headaches, nausea, dizziness, to life threatening, such as heart function interference, brain function interference, jamming of pacemakers and insulin injectors, DNA disruption causing birth defects and even cancer,” Kidd said.
Despite the significant number of petitions sent to the PUC over the years, requests to have the meters removed and rallies in cities like Houston, installation of the meters and bullying by TDSP’s, the situation remains unresolved. Devvy and dozens of petitioners are now taking the fight to the Texas PUC for a formal, public hearing which will include expert witness testimony. Her lawyer, Tom Cryer, of Shreveport, LA, will file a formal petition with PUC on Thursday, February 23, 2012, at the PUC’s offices in Austin, Texas. Kidd and Cryer will submit the filing requesting an immediate moratorium on further installations and a demanding a hearing on whether the meters present an unreasonable risk to public safety, health and welfare, compromise the privacy of consumers and provide no benefit or energy savings and should be banned permanently. Alternatively, the petition demands rules requiring full disclosure of health and safety risks prior to installation and prohibiting installation without consumers’ consent.
PRESS CONFERENCE SCHEDULED: