The age-old adage First Do No Harm should be the tempering goal of not only medicine, but government and industry, especially when they team up to deploy new technologies, set policies and serve the people.

This blog exists to reveal and analyze areas in which these powerful groups are failing to "first do no harm."

Monday, September 26, 2011

Should Wisconsin Public Utility Institute Ban Public Input?

The Wisconsin Public Utility Institute (WPUI) has announced cancellation of the September 27 Smart Meter roundtable meeting for unspecified “financial” reasons shortly after public notice was given here that a smart meter protest was being planned outside the event.

Citizen inquiries about the event, suggesting a desire to attend and join the discussion, led to clarification that, while citizens could attend (for a $125 fee), they could not participate. Chatham House Rules were also instituted after that first inquiry, so it was against conference rules for attending utility officials to be held accountable for statements they made. Roundtable content could only be discussed in abstract terms. Journalists were not invited. It seems that when it became clear that there would be some coverage, due to the protest, the conference was cancelled.

Wireless smart meters are causing health problems for many individuals. They also pose a threat to national and personal security since data is broadcast wirelessly, making it easy for knowledgeable hackers to obtain data or even shut down large segments of the electrical grid. (See Electrical Pollution or Stop Smart Meters sites.)

Contrary to utility claims, transmitting smart meters are being found to be out of compliance with the FCC. And despite the assertion that "power range of wireless signals from smart meters is much less severe" than WiFi networks or cell phones, smart meters have been measured to give off more radiation than a cell phone TOWER.

The utilities do not "acknowledge" any health effects from the radiofrequency (rf) radiation transmitting devices they install. Yet, they admit the "RF issue" is a Key Barrier to their plans as they scramble to try to control consumer perception and get everyone to happily climb aboard the new system. But people experiencing illness relating to wireless meter installation, and those with concerns about privacy and security cannot or will not climb aboard. This is the precisely the point that needs to be openly, publically aired.

The Wisconsin Public Utility Institute supposedly incorporates the “Wisconsin Idea,” meant to foster outreach, forums and debate on utility policy to benefit the citizens and the state. Their (cancelled) Smart Meter Roundtable violated that mission. WPUI Director Cara Lee Mahany Braithwait told me in an email that Chatham House Rule was common during institute meetings, but none of the other events in their archives mentioned using the rule, or the overt exclusion of public input. So, why expend such great effort to control the information at the Smart Meter Roundtable? And is this a proper use of WPUI resources?


Public participation at the upcoming WPUI Energy Utility Basics 2011 – where smart meters will be a topic – will be curtailed by expense and prohibition of discussion during the “training” sessions. In order to be heard, concerned Wisconsin citizens plan to protest outside the conference during the smart meter segments October 24-28, 2011. Details will follow later.

--co-written by myself and Catherine of Electricalpollution.com.

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Monday, September 26, 2011

Should Wisconsin Public Utility Institute Ban Public Input?

The Wisconsin Public Utility Institute (WPUI) has announced cancellation of the September 27 Smart Meter roundtable meeting for unspecified “financial” reasons shortly after public notice was given here that a smart meter protest was being planned outside the event.

Citizen inquiries about the event, suggesting a desire to attend and join the discussion, led to clarification that, while citizens could attend (for a $125 fee), they could not participate. Chatham House Rules were also instituted after that first inquiry, so it was against conference rules for attending utility officials to be held accountable for statements they made. Roundtable content could only be discussed in abstract terms. Journalists were not invited. It seems that when it became clear that there would be some coverage, due to the protest, the conference was cancelled.

Wireless smart meters are causing health problems for many individuals. They also pose a threat to national and personal security since data is broadcast wirelessly, making it easy for knowledgeable hackers to obtain data or even shut down large segments of the electrical grid. (See Electrical Pollution or Stop Smart Meters sites.)

Contrary to utility claims, transmitting smart meters are being found to be out of compliance with the FCC. And despite the assertion that "power range of wireless signals from smart meters is much less severe" than WiFi networks or cell phones, smart meters have been measured to give off more radiation than a cell phone TOWER.

The utilities do not "acknowledge" any health effects from the radiofrequency (rf) radiation transmitting devices they install. Yet, they admit the "RF issue" is a Key Barrier to their plans as they scramble to try to control consumer perception and get everyone to happily climb aboard the new system. But people experiencing illness relating to wireless meter installation, and those with concerns about privacy and security cannot or will not climb aboard. This is the precisely the point that needs to be openly, publically aired.

The Wisconsin Public Utility Institute supposedly incorporates the “Wisconsin Idea,” meant to foster outreach, forums and debate on utility policy to benefit the citizens and the state. Their (cancelled) Smart Meter Roundtable violated that mission. WPUI Director Cara Lee Mahany Braithwait told me in an email that Chatham House Rule was common during institute meetings, but none of the other events in their archives mentioned using the rule, or the overt exclusion of public input. So, why expend such great effort to control the information at the Smart Meter Roundtable? And is this a proper use of WPUI resources?


Public participation at the upcoming WPUI Energy Utility Basics 2011 – where smart meters will be a topic – will be curtailed by expense and prohibition of discussion during the “training” sessions. In order to be heard, concerned Wisconsin citizens plan to protest outside the conference during the smart meter segments October 24-28, 2011. Details will follow later.

--co-written by myself and Catherine of Electricalpollution.com.

No comments:

Post a Comment

Note: Only a member of this blog may post a comment.