PG&E met with the Press Democrat (PD) editorial board last week regarding Sebastopol’s ban on Smart Meters. Following that meeting the PD printed two misinformed editorials, both heavy handed against Sebastopol.
Chris Coursey in “Feeling Sorry for Goliath” writes, “Meter readers are threatened with citations and fines for doing their jobs.” This is wrong. Only installers have been warned not to deploy Smart Meters in Sebastopol. Meter readers love Sebastopol because they still have a job.
Coursey writes, “Sebastopol seems to be getting pulled around by the nose by a small group of anti-technology folks known as the Electromagnetic Field Safety Network.” Our name is the EMF Safety Network and we are not anti-technology. We advocate the use of precaution with electromagnetic fields (EMF’s) and radiofrequency radiation (RF) (wireless), and advocate corded and wired alternatives to protect public health and the environment. Our work is based on decades of science.
According to Coursey 10% of Sebastopol has opted out of Smart Meters. That means there are hundreds of people in Sebastopol that are concerned enough about Smart Meter hazards to pay PG&E’s extortion fees not to have them.
Coursey states the World Health Organization (WHO) says there’s no evidence of harm. Wrong again. In May of 2011 the International Agency for Research on Cancer, an arm of the WHO, classified wireless as a 2b carcinogen, same as DDT and lead.
Coursey says Sebastopol is rethinking its moratorium. The city manager stated there was “zero consideration” of repealing the ordinance.
In the other article, “Let’s not wage war on PG&E workers”, the editor stated Helen Burt, PG&E’s chief customer officer said, “we don’t want to be at war with our communities”.
PG&E threatened a lawsuit against Sebastopol, refused to mark gas lines, and halted commercial work, including the $23 million Barlow project. These are strong-arm tactics and intimidation.
PG&E has been at war with many communities over the last three years. Since 2009 more than 50 California local jurisdictions have opposed Smart Meters, and fifteen have made the deployment illegal. Supervisor Carrillo asked for a moratorium, safety studies and a free opt-out. The PD even called for a moratorium!
PG&E responded by accelerating Smart Meter deployment and forcing installations, without informed consent or full disclosure about how the meters work, and what they are capable of, including surveillance and profiling. The California Public Utilities Commission (CPUC) is already discussing how to access the data Smart Meters collect and how to make it available to third parties.
In 2009, Bakersfield residents complained about skyrocketing bills and PG&E defended their Smart Meters as accurate. Two years later PG&E admitted billing errors due to Smart Meter defects.
In 2010, PG&E said Smart Meters transmit radiation once an hour. In 2011, the CPUC ordered PG&E to provide the specifications and PG&E admitted Smart Meters can transmit up to 190,000 times a day!
The head of PG&E’s Smart Meter program was caught trying to infiltrate our group by lying about his identity. The CPUC safety division investigated and found the spying was a system wide problem within PG&E.
Feel sorry for PG&E? I don’t think so.
Sebastopol’s unanimous decision to ban Smart Meters is applauded by many people in Sebastopol and beyond. According to Sebastopol’s ordinance (available on their website), Smart Meter technology subjects residents to “privacy, security, health, accuracy and consumer fraud risks.”
It’s shameful the PD editors have been influenced by PG&E. The PD should be a source of accurate information, not more of PG&E’s disinformation.
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