October 19, 2012 Radio Commentary


Radio Commentary, 90.7, 91.7 New Life FM, October 19, 2012  –  By Sue Ella Deadwyler

Good morning, Jim.  Two Public Service Commissioners were up for reelection this year and one of them – Commissioner Wise – won another term by defeating his Republican opponent in the Primary.  Commissioner Chuck Eaton, who also defeated a Republican opponent, but he has Democrat opposition in November.

So, this is a perfect time to ask these candidates about their position on smart meters.  It’s also appropriate to use the term “spy and fry meters” to get their attention as you explain the dangers of smart meter radiation and fire hazards.

WSBTV consumer investigator Jim Strickland recently reported that fire “shot from around the smart meter Georgia Power installed in 2010” and fried the wiring in a Decatur, Georgia home.  The family was at home to put out the fire, but not before it caused $11,140 in damage.  Now, they’re using a generator until the wiring can be replaced.  In recent months, another smart-meter fire was reported in Georgia.  In Philadelphia, PECO Energy suspended smart meter installation after receiving 29 fire reports.  In Texas several fires have been blamed on smart meters.

Smart meters emit strong bursts of microwave radiation, which the World Health Organization labeled in May 2011 a Class 2b carcinogen – the same category as lead, DDT and chloroform.  But that doesn’t concern utility companies.

After a resident with medical problems caused by a smart meter bought a standard analog meter and had an electrician install it at her home, three armed men from Nevada Energy entered her property in August, took her analog meter and the smart meter she had removed, then cut off her power.  Now, she’s under investigation for “criminal tampering” and no one is charging utilities with violating federal law for installing smart meters without consumer consent, which is a miscarriage of justice.

Our PSC has tons of data about the dangers of smart meter, but refuses to protect consumers by requiring utilities to obey the law requiring a consumer opt-in.  Installing smart meters without consumer consent is illegal and refusing to remove those already installed is illegal, as well as heavy-handed.  Charging consumers a meter-reading fee if they refuse a smart meter is another heavy-handed intimidation designed to force full compliance.

Why can utility companies defy the law, force hazardous equipment on consumers, refuse to remove it and NOT be charged with a crime?  And, by the way, if Commissioner Eaton won’t agree to provide a smart meter consumer opt-out, he should be defeated in November.  For Georgia Insight I’m Sue Ella Deadwyler, your Capitol correspondent.