PG&E hands over even more emails

deathmeterEvidence of smart meter corruption

PG&E has handed over another batch of emails that expose days long meetings between PGE’s Brian Cherry and CPUC president Michael Peevey.   Peevey provides information, direction and advocacy on utility projects, instead of regulating PG&E to protect the public to ensure safe utility service.

The majority of the emails are about Oakley Power Plant, a windmill project called Manzana and San Bruno.  However one small section gives a peek into Michael Peevey’s intentions on smart meters.

On July 2, 2010 PGE’s Brian Cherry wrote to Tom Bottorff about having spent a “good few days with Peevey and Bohn” (former Commissioner).  Cherry’s description of what took place included smart meters.

“SmartMeters-Mike grumbled about the CCSF PFM* and the folks in Sebastopol who want to delay SmartMeter implementation. He implied that this wasn’t going to happen and that by the time the Commission got around to acting on it, we would have installed all of our meters.”

Exhibit 2 SmartMeter Upgrade Proceeding A.07-12-009 link to the emails:  PGE Letter to Mr. Sullivan Exhibits 1 – 17_ 12-22-14

Click to see the screen shot:

Screen shot 2014-12-28 at 10.35.39 AM

The “folks in Sebastopol” are the EMF Safety Network.  We had a formal proceeding before the Commission in 2010 asking for a moratorium on smart meters.  A.10-04-018. President Peevey dismissed that proceeding deferring authority to the FCC. * CCSF is the City and County of San Francisco who asked for a moratorium, and illustrated smart meter problems. http://docs.cpuc.ca.gov/PublishedDocs/EFILE/PM/119424.PDF

The Structure Report was issued two months after Cherry wrote about this, and its conclusions were the same as Cherry reported, smart meters were claimed to be accurate, and PGE was faulted for how they handled smart meter problems.

Peevey has done exactly what Brian Cherry said he implied.  Peevey dismissed and ignored the substantive issues, created a pay to opt out program, and delayed… meanwhile PGE installed almost all their  smart meters.  The utilities forced smart meters onto property without consent and without honest disclosure of how the meters work.

Wasn’t that just our experience?

PG&E forcing smart meters on customers!

Tearing down signs, and installing ahead of schedule!

CPUC ignoring cities and counties requests for a moratorium and safety studies!

CPUC and PG&E ignoring local laws that banned smart meter installation!

CPUC ignoring the science!  ignoring doctors requests! ignoring disability rights!

Charging punitive fees to avoid smart meters!

Not allowing communities to decide! Not allowing businesses a choice!

Excluding health and safety from the smart meter opt out proceeding!

More from the email:

“He [Peevey] was concerned about the Structure SmartMeter Audit.  He said he could not go into details, but that we would like their conclusions on the viability of the technology and infrastructure that supports it. He did say the Structure Audit report would be very critical of the way we handled the problem and communicated with our customers. He was also highly critical of Helen and her handling of the Senate hearing in Sacramento.”

“Miscellaneous- Mike couldn’t hide his disdain for Mark Toney and TuRN. He was particularly incensed, along with Clanon, about TURN’s refusal to modify their website about opposition to Smart Meters.  I’m not too concerned about TURN and the GRC at this point. I don’t believe we need them as a settlement partner with Peevey as the assigned Commissioner….”

This is the stuff of crooks!

CPUC approves extortion smart meter fees

What really happened at Peevey’s last CPUC meeting

Screen shot 2014-12-22 at 12.23.22 PM
Peevey’s last meeting: Reading of names and smart meter victim complaints the CPUC is ignoring.

IMG_5384Before noon on Dec.18, a Bay City News reporter published  a rare media account of Peevey’s last meeting at the CPUC titled “San Bruno blast: PUC’s Peevey presides over final meeting, receiving scorn and praise”.  During untimed public comments 30 speakers droned on with accolades for his twelve years at the CPUC, one calling him the “greenest Commissioner”.  After a couple hours the scorn began.  21 speakers had signed up to speak, most on smart meters.  Robert Ernst read the names and smart meter complaints told to the CPUC judge at public hearings. (see video below)

Within hours the news article covering the scorn was censored, and almost all mention of smart meter opposition inside the CPUC meeting was removed. Here’s what was taken out:

“Armed police guarded the meeting, which at one point was interrupted by shouts when it appeared that Peevey intended to adjourn the meeting before all members of the public had a chance to speak.

“Be quiet,” Peevey told those who were shouting. Eventually, Peevey decided to continue the meeting through lunch and speakers continued to offer comments.

Numerous people offered opposition to the controversial PG&E smart meter program.

Robert Ernst of San Rafael offered Peevey “a dark rose for dark times” that he claimed smart meters pose for California. People held up signs that read “Listen to the Smart Meter injured.

“The PUC is clearly a captured  agency, working on behalf of, and in collusion with, the utility it is supposed to be regulating,” said Sandi Maurer.”

IMG_5344IMG_5352Prior to the meeting we met on the steps of the CPUC in protest. The grim reaper held a wireless kills sign, black roses were handed out and a smart meter victims coffin was raised.

 

IMG_5367_2_2

The alternate smart meter decision is APPROVED

After a lunch break, the CPUC approved Peevey’s alternate decision, which charges opt out fees of $75 initial fee and $10 a month ($10 and $5 for low income) for no more than three years. The decision excluded health and safety and disallowed community and business opt out. The Commissioners did not discuss it, only offered gratuities to those involved.

Thanks to everyone who coordinated the actions and participated, and to Steve Zeltzer for the following video:

Listen to CPUC Commissioners talk about the smart meter opt out proposed decisions

On December 4, the California Public Utilities Commission (CPUC) discussed the proposed decision and alternate proposed decision for the smart meter opt out proceedings.  The first three minutes President Peevey describes the proposals and the new change which allows estimated billing and bi-monthly meter reading to reduce costs. [It seems the cost savings will only benefit  the utilities, as the opt out fees are still $75/10].

Commissioner Florio suggested local communities should be able to vote on community opt out from smart meters, stating “the Commission can and should honor that [vote]”. He says, “If Fairfax and Sebastopol and a few other places want to be smart meter free zones I don’t think we should override that democratic will of the people in those communities.” He went on to say, “If there are a few small communities that choose to that would be a place where people who really have a problem with the smart meters could live and conduct their lives.”

President Peevey promptly rebukes Florio’s suggestions stating” Seems to me that doing that would only fester and foster and promote more debate and anguish over this issue.” Peevey goes on to decry the voting process, calling it “the height of lack of democracy” and “extremely undemocratic”.

Commissioner Picker, a former SMUD director claims only 50 people opted out in Sacramento, and many of those vocal against smart meters came up from Davis. He referred to community opt out as“bad public policy, bad public health, bad financial planning…unless they [communities] are just  going to divorce themselves from the rest of the states’ grid and get rid of all their sources of fugitive EMF and they’re going to figure out how to compensate the rest of us for their additional contributions in terms of air quality impacts.”

Commissioner Sandoval was concerned  about people who want a smart meter, and her greater concern is about all the smart meter emissions (she calls “last gasps”) that have nothing to do with energy usage, saying, “they are a source of RF emissions that have no value”. She’s wiling to move forward with approving the proposed decisions, but maybe come back to this if “certain issues arise“.

Peevey mocks the City of Sebastopol saying “[Sebastopol] is a nuclear free zone, and I guess that means that there’s not a single electron from Diablo Canyon that ever crosses the boundary into Sebastopol, it’s a wi-fi free zone downtown, and it would like to ban smart meters and on and on and on”.

Peevey states he’s received the brunt of the negative comments and claims to have been sympathetic in many ways to people. He says PG&E should have handled the issue in a different way, “They [PG&E] chose not to, THAT’S LIFE.”

The vote was moved to December 18, which is Peevey’s last meeting before he retires and the day we plan to hold a press conference and demonstration at the CPUC.

December 18: Press Conference and Demonstration at the CPUC in SF

California Public Utilities Commission
Thursday, December 18
8:30 AM
505 Van Ness Ave. (at McAllister), San Francisco

Give CPUC President Michael Peevey the send-off into retirement that he deserves after a dozen years of corruption and complicity with corporate utilities.

Protest the CPUC’s proposed decisions in the ‘smart’ meter opt out proceedings. Show strength in unity against their proposals that:

  • Ignore serious public safety hazards including toxic injuries, fires, homelessness, violations of  privacy, higher bills, loss of meter readers, and no promised energy savings.
  • Continue to impose coercive extortion opt out fees
  • Violate laws, and deny customer and disability rights
  • Prohibit opt-outs for communities, apartment buildings, and businesses
  • Reward utility companies with millions $$$ more for smart grid failings

-6Join in demanding that the CPUC:
    • Reject the proposed decisions
    • Rescind and refund ‘opt out’ extortion fees
    • Halt the ‘smart’ meter program

Bring any other past or present grievances against the CPUC (toxic dumping, nuclear plants, gas line explosions, accessibility, public power, etc.)

Join in demanding:
• Criminal prosecution of CPUC President Peevey and others, and shut down of the aging and hazardous Diablo Canyon Nuclear Power Plant!

We will be raising our demands both outside before the meeting, as well as inside. Please come prepared to make some noise and be seen.Wear black if you can. Rain or shine.

For more information about the proposed decisions, go to these links:
ALJ Amy Yip-Kikugawa’s Proposed Decision
President Michael Peevey’s Alternate Proposed Decision

The proposed decisions will (as summarized by the EMF Safety Network):

  • Give 37 million dollars to the 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/month, and $10 initial fee plus $5/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.
  • President Peevey proposes putting a cap on the opt-out fees at 3 years.
  • Neither proposal considers a no-fee option.
IMG_6262
CPUC smart meter public hearing Santa Rosa 2012

 

Endorsed by:
Alameda County Residents Concerned About “Smart” Meters
California Brain Tumor Association
Center for Electrosmog Prevention
Ecological Options Network
EMF Analysis
EMF Safety Coalition
EMF Safety Network
No Nukes Action
Peoples Initiative Foundation
Smart Meter Health Alert
Stop OC Smart Meters
Smart Meter Harm
Stop Smart Grid
Stop Smart Meters!
Stop Smart Meters Irvine
United Public Workers for Action
Wireless Radiation Alert Network

(For more information, or if your organization would like to endorse this, please contact info@stopsmartmeters.org)

80 smart meters (that’s 160 antennas) in one low income housing unit in Berkeley. The World Health Organization’s IARC says they emit radiation that may cause cancer.

Comments filed in smart meter opt out proceeding

EMF Safety Network filed comments today opposing the CPUC’s proposed decisions.  The CPUC decisions will force customers to pay permanent fees to avoid a smart meter on their home, and business customers and communities will not be able to opt out.

Read the comments here: Network PD Comments

The CPUC is attempting to sweep public participation under the rug, deny community rights, restrict participation, and apparently expects no pushback!

Demand the Commission:

  • Reject the proposed decisions
  • Rescind smart meter opt out fees
  • Order all interim fees refunded to customers
  • Ban co-located antennas in multiple meter installations
  • Hold evidentiary hearings on smart meter health and safety impacts
  • Allow community and commercial opt out.

The best way to do this is to go to a CPUC meeting.  Mark your calendars and plan to attend on Thursday, December 18, 2014, 9 am at 505 Van Ness Ave, San Francisco. This will be President Peevey’s last day on the Commission.

You can also lobby the Commissioners: Mike Florio 415-703-1840/ Catharine Sandoval 415-703-3700/ President Michael Peevey 415-703-3703/ Carla Peterman 415- 703-1407/ Michael Picker 415- 703-2444

The Commission must vote against the proposed decisions because requiring customers to pay opt out fees is coercion by exaction, extortion.  Customers are forced to choose between paying to avoid harm, or the threat of harm from the pulsed electromagnetic radiation (EMR) smart meters emit, or lose essential utility service.  The opt out fee would become a government-imposed exaction whose purpose and effect is to coerce payment.

A “pay to opt out” program does not provide relief to all customers, is a violation of utility laws and core principles of private property law.

The responsibility for the cost of the opt out program should rest with the true cost causers: the utilities and the CPUC.

Smart meters are a nuisance, a means of illegal trespass, and an unconstitutional interference with owners’ peaceful use and enjoyment of homes and properties.
Neither PGE nor the CPUC has the right to use private property for installation of smart meters without the owner’s consent or due process of law.

Communities have a legal responsibility, and the legal and vested power to protect residents from harm and the threat of harm.  The decision that communities and multi-unit dwellings cannot opt out is a false and misleading conclusion.

The purpose of opt out fees is protection of the smart grid project and increased utility profits.  The utilities do not want customers to opt out because the smart meter mesh network relies on customers participating.  Where the process conceals project failings from full public scrutiny, it is unlawful and demonstrable cronyism. If shareholders paid for opt out costs, more accountability in the future would be assured.

The Commission should reject both PDs; rescind smart meter opt out fees; order all interim fees refunded to customers; ban co-located antennas in multiple meter installations; and keep the proceeding open to 1) hold evidentiary hearings on smart meter health and safety and 2) take testimony on community and commercial opt out.

The CPUC must take these actions to ensure safe and reliable utility service at reasonable rates to California customers or fail in its stated mission.

Extortion by ‘Smart Meter’

ostretchCPUC1SandboxOPCommentary by Jim Heddle – EON

The CPUC’s proposed decisions come as no surprise from a corrupt and corporately captured ‘regulatory’ agency headed for the last 12 years by a former utility executive who has become the poster boy for cozy corporate cronyism.  Still, they are a source of deep disappointment and outrage to those whose health and safety has already suffered from the ‘smart meter’ rollout, and to those of us long involved as official interveners in the CPUC proceeding on this issue.

Under fire for exposed collusion with Pacific Gas & Electric (PG&E) in relation to the San Bruno gas explosion which killed 8 people and destroyed a neighborhood, CPUC President Michael Peevey has announced he will ‘not seek reappointment’ when his term expires at the end of the year.  [See my Chronicle op-ed piece here.)

But that still gives him time to leave as his legacy one of his long-time pet projects: forced state-wide ‘smart meter’ deployment as part of the Obama Administration’s misguided and potentially disastrous  ‘smart grid’ program. [ See our recent blog “True Grid – Switching from ‘Smart’ to Wise,” and the landmark report “Getting Smarter About the Smart Grid,” authored by energy expert Dr. Timothy Schoechle ]

A Back-Asswards Proceeding

As the proposed decisions amply demonstrate, the ‘Opt-Out’ Proceeding is flawed from the outset by several key factors.

1.  Flawed Assumption It is based on a fundamental assumption that allows only one final conclusion.  Peevey’s version of the proposed decision states it clearly on pg. 45: “It is in everyone’s interest to promote moving to smart meters.”  With that seriously misguided and unsubstantiatable belief as the starting point, rolling back the roll-out is unthinkable. It is certainly not ‘in the best interests’ of the growing numbers of electro-sensitive people made sick and forced to become ‘EMF refugees’ by the proliferation of wireless technologies, including wireless ‘smart meters.’

2. Excludes Key Issues – The scoping memo delimiting the issues which may be considered in the first phase of the Proceeding specifically excludes health and safety issues – precisely the main issues (along with privacy and hacking vulnerabilities) that are motivating people to want to opt-out in the first place.  Peevey again on his pg. 6 “The Scoping Memo expressly excluded consideration of health and safety impacts of smart meters from this phase of the proceeding.” (Accompanying Footnote: “Phase 2 is to consider cost and cost allocation issues associated with providing an opt-out option and whether to expand the opt-out option to allow for a community opt-out option. Due to the narrow focus of this phase, it would be inappropriate to expand the scope to consider health issues.” Scoping Memo at 3. Testimony and briefing concerning health and safety issues, or devoted to arguing against opt-out charges altogether, contribute nothing to this decision. We will bear this in mind when evaluating intervenor compensation claims.”) So, what he’s saying in a snarky way is that intervenors (like ourselves) who attempted to raise health and safety issues can be sure of not being compensated for the time and research we invested as required by CPUC rules.

3.  Reversed Accountability – Another upside-down application of judgment criteria is revealed on Peevey’s pg. 13 where he argues in essence that those who caused the problem should bear the cost of solving it, identifies people desiring op-out as the troublemakers, and then admits that it was the Commissions rollout mandate initiated by himself that caused the problem in the first place.  “In D.12-02-014, we stated that “customers electing the opt-option shall be responsible for costs associated with providing the option.” We indicated we would approve incremental costs at a relatively granular level: e.g., costs for the purchase of additional meters, trips to install analog meters, meter reading, etc. would be recoverable. Accordingly, the proper inquiry for determining whether a cost is “associated with providing the [opt-out] option” is whether the IOUs would have undertaken the allegedly incremental activity, and so incurred the associated costs, absent the opt-out program. With respect to PG&E’s Customer Operations Support costs, we conclude that PG&E would not have incurred the claimed costs – e.g., costs for mailers (which TURN does not challenge), customer service representative training, door hangers, and web page content supporting the opt-out program– absent the Commission’s mandate to implement the opt-out program.

4,  Illogical Priorities –  By scheduling cost considerations before health and safety (and completely excluding privacy and security issues) the Proceeding essentially lets the horse out of the barn before deciding whether or not to shut the door.  Once the fait accompli of cost agreements and total deployment has been established, what hope of a science-based decision-making process on health, safety, privacy and security issues remains?

A Remedy for ‘Exhaustion of Remedies’ – Time for Litigation, Legislation, ‘Pitchforks and Torches?’

The proposed decisions seen in the context of the other developments listed above raise a fundamental question of democracy: What is a beleaguered public under attack by the very agencies designed to protect them to do?

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: ml2@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.