CPUC: Give millions more to PG&E and continue smart meter extortion fees

sddefaultsquare_gallery_thumbCalifornia Public Utilities Commission (CPUC) Judge Amy Yip-Kikugawa and President Michael Peevey have issued two proposed decisions in the smart meter opt-out proceeding. Here’s a recap of what they state:

  • Give 37 million dollars to Investor Owned Utilities (PG&E, SCE, SDG&E and So Cal Gas) for providing the opt-out program.
  • Adopt permanent fees for residential customers who “do not wish to have a wireless smart meter”.
  • Continue the same interim fees of $75 initial fee, plus $10 a month, and $10 initial fee and $5 a month for low income.
  • Local governments and multi-unit dwellings may not collectively opt out of smart meter installations.
  • Charging an opt-out fee does not violate the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA).
  • They will not address health and safety impacts in this decision.
  • Assess fees on a per location basis, for example if you have two or more meters on your property, that will be one fee, per utility company.
  • If you have two utilities, they can both charge you fees.
  • Peevey proposes putting a cap on the opt-out fees at 3 years.
  • Both Peevey and Yip-Kikugawa refuse to consider a no fee option.
  • ALJ Amy Yip-Kikugawa’s Proposed Decision
  • Michael Peevey’s Alternate Proposed Decision

“It is in everyone’s interest to promote moving to smart meters.” -Amy Yip-Kikugawa, CPUC proposed decision

A proposed decision is not necessarily the final authority.  In 2011 the proposed decision stated the opt-out meter for PG&E would be a radio-off smart meter.  After strong public opposition the final decision allowed for the analog meter.

What you can do:

Send your comments by email to ALJ Amy Yip-Kikugawa: ayk@cpuc.ca.gov and to Michael Peevey’s advisor Manisha Lakhanpal: m12@cpuc.ca.gov  You can also request to meet with the Commissioners in person.

Go to the CPUC meetings.  A current list of CPUC meetings is here. The CPUC is located at 505 Van Ness Ave San Francisco CA.

To  learn more about this issue read the EMF Safety Network brief.

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Sedona Councilmember visits the US Surgeon General’s office

Sedona Arizona City Councilmember Barbara Litrell traveled to Washington D.C and met with the Senior Policy advisor to the acting Surgeon General, Melissa Brodowiki. Ms Litrell presented both the film “Take Back Your Power” and the book “Overpowered” for Ms. Brodowiki’s review. Assurances were given that issues surrounding the impact of microwave and radio energy on humans would be investigated.

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Bye-bye Peevey!

peevey money and healthToday CPUC President Michael Peevey announced he will not seek reappointment when his term ends in December 2014.

Recent news embroiled Peevey in controversy over his collusion with PG&E where he was caught drinking bottles of pinot with PG&E’s regulatory executive Brian Cherry, and soliciting donations from PG&E.

Today he issued the following statement: “I originally planned to make the following announcement at the CPUC’s regularly-scheduled Voting Meeting on October 16th, but instead I am moving the announcement to today to state that I will not seek reappointment to the CPUC when my term expires at the end of this year. Twelve years as President is enough. The Governor, of course, will make a decision as to my successor in due time. I will speak more extensively regarding my terms as CPUC President at the last Voting Meeting of the year on December 18th.”

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Smart meter opt out proceeding delayed a sixth time and more collusion revealed between PG&E and the CPUC

Pitchforks To PGE by Brian Narelle

Pitchforks To PGE by Brian Narelle

The CPUC has delayed resolving the smart meter opt out proceeding for a 6th time which is a full year of delays. The new deadline is set for December 3rd, 2014.

During public comments at a CPUC voting meeting last week Commission President Michael Peevey announced that the Judge on the case (Amy Yip-Kikugawa) is too busy with the San Bruno case so that’s why there’s delays. According to the legal filing the delay is needed because the issues are “complex and require additional time to resolve”, not because the judge is too busy.

Meanwhile federal investigators are uncovering more collusion between PG&E and two CPUC Commissioners, Peevey and Florio. The SF Chronicle reported yesterday that federal prosecutors are investigating five years’ worth of back-channel communications between PG&E and the CPUC, including several that enmeshed utility executives in a recently revealed judge-shopping scandal.  Here’s PGE’s recent filing.

Do you think those five years of emails might reveal collusion between PG&E and the CPUC on smart meters? No doubt! We know PGE trained the CPUC Consumer Affairs Branch how to respond to smart meter complaints. The case against “Ralph Florea” aka Bill Devereaux, the head of PG&E’s smart meter department (who spied on us; circulated private emails to corporate PG&E, the CPUC and others; and sent a spy to photograph our protest) revealed the CPUC and PG&E were discussing our work via emails and held private meetings while our smart meter proceeding was still open.

At the Oct.2nd CPUC business meeting the public railed at the Commissioners on smart meters calling for President Peevey’s removal.  You can view the public comments on video:  See Oct 2 meeting for public comments http://www.californiaadmin.com/cpuc.shtml

Posted in CPUC, Hall of Shame, smart meters | 2 Comments

Study links cell phones to addiction

http://www.baylor.edu/content/imglib/1/8/8/7/188769.jpgCollege students spend an average of 8 hours or more a day on their cellphones and women spend the most time, up to ten hours a day.  Excessive use poses potential risks for academic performance, according to a Baylor University study on cellphone activity published in the Journal of Behavioral Addictions.

The study notes that approximately 60 percent of college students admit they may be addicted to their cell phone, and some indicated they get agitated when it is not in sight, said Roberts, lead author of the article “The Invisible Addiction: Cellphone Activities and Addiction among Male and Female College Students.”

“That’s astounding,” said researcher James Roberts, Ph.D., Professor of Marketing in Baylor’s School of Business. “As cellphone functions increase, addictions to this seemingly indispensable piece of technology become an increasingly realistic possibility.”

General findings of the study showed that:

• Of the top activities, respondents overall reported spending the most time texting (an average of 94.6 minutes a day), followed by sending emails (48.5 minutes), checking Facebook (38.6 minutes), surfing the Internet (34.4 minutes) and listening to their iPods. (26.9 minutes).

• Men send about the same number of emails but spend less time on each. “That may suggest that they’re sending shorter, more utilitarian messages than their female counterparts,” Roberts said.

• Women spend more time on their cellphones. While that finding runs somewhat contrary to the traditional view that men are more invested in technology, “women may be more inclined to use cellphones for social reasons such as texting or emails to build relationships and have deeper conversations.”

• The men in the study, while more occupied with using their cellphones for utilitarian or entertainment purposes, “are not immune to the allure of social media,” Roberts said. They spent time visiting such social networking sites as Facebook, Instagram and Twitter. Among reasons they used Twitter were to follow sports figures, catch up on the news — “or, as one male student explained it, ‘waste time,’” Roberts said.

Excessive use of cellphones poses a number of possible risks for students, he said.

“Cellphones may wind up being an escape mechanism from their classrooms. For some, cellphones in class may provide a way to cheat,” Roberts said.

Excessive or obsessive cellphone use also can cause conflict inside and outside the classroom: with professors, employers and families. And “some people use a cellphone to dodge an awkward situation. They may pretend to take a call, send a text or check their phones,” Roberts said.

Roberts noted that the current survey is more extensive than previous research in measuring the number and types of cellphone activities. It also is the first to investigate which activities are associated significantly with cellphone addictions and which are not.

Study participants were asked to respond to 11 statements such as “I get agitated when my cellphone is not in sight” and “I find that I am spending more and more time on my cellphone” to measure the intensity of their addiction.

The study noted that modern cellphone use is a paradox in that it can be “both freeing and enslaving at the same time.”

“We need to identify the activities that push cellphone use from being a helpful tool to one that undermines our well-being and that of others,” Roberts said.

Baylor University did a previous where they reported “Cell phone and instant messaging addictions are driven by materialism and impulsiveness and can be compared to consumption pathologies like compulsive buying and credit card misuse, according to a Baylor University study in the Journal of Behavioral Addictions.”

“Cell phones are a part of our consumer culture,” said study author James Roberts, Ph.D., professor of marketing and the Ben H. Williams Professor of Marketing at Baylor’s Hankamer School of Business. “They are not just a consumer tool, but are used as a status symbol. They’re also eroding our personal relationships.”

To read the complete study follow this link: http://www.akademiai.com/content/q41011j715q26n7h/

 

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Digital Insanity “Can We Auto-Correct Humanity?”

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