Read the Beforeitsnews.com story here. Advertise at Before It's News here.
Profile image
By The Sleuth ​Journal
Contributor profile | More stories
Story Views
Now:
Last hour:
Last 24 hours:
Total:

Texas Bill Would Allow People to Opt Out of Smart Meters, Undermine Federal Program

% of readers think this story is Fact. Add your two cents.


By: Michael Maharrey, Tenth Amendment Center |

A bill introduced in the Texas House would allow utility customers to opt out of installing “smart meter” technology on their homes and businesses. Passage of this bill would allow Texans to protect their own privacy, and it would take a step toward blocking a federal program in effect.

Rep. Ken King (R-Canadian) introduced House Bill 3656 (HB3656) on March 9. The legislation would allow Texas utility customers to opt out of any utility company smart meter program with no charge or penalty.

Smart meters monitor home energy usage in minute detail in real time. The devices transmit data to the utility company were it gets stored in databases. Anybody with access to the data can download it for analysis. Without specific criteria limiting access to the data, these devices create significant privacy issues. Smart meters can also be used to remotely limit power usage during peak hours.

Under the proposed law, utility companies would be required to inform customers in writing that they have the right to decline installation of a smart meter. The company would not be allowed to charge the customer for declining installation, nor for the cost of traditional metering service. HB3656 also includes provisions giving utility customers the right to have an existing smart meter removed. The company would be allowed to charge the customer for the cost of installing the replacement traditional meter.

PRIVACY CONCERNS

The proliferation of smart meters creates significant privacy concerns. The data collected can tell anybody who holds it a great deal about what goes on inside a home. It can reveal when residents are at home, asleep or on vacation. It can also pinpoint “unusual” energy use, and could someday serve to help enforce “energy usage” regulations. The ACLU summarized the privacy issues surrounding smart meters in a recent report.

“The temptation to use the information that will be collected from customers for something other than managing electrical loads will be strong – as it has been for cell phone tracking data and GPS information. Police may want to know your general comings and goings or whether you’re growing marijuana in your basement under grow lights. Advertisers will want the information to sell you a new washing machine to replace the energy hog you got as a wedding present 20 years ago. Information flowing in a smart grid will become more and more ‘granular’ as the system develops.”

The privacy issues aren’t merely theoretical. According to information obtained by the California ACLU, utility companies in the state have disclosed information gathered by smart meters on thousands of customers. San Diego Gas and Electric alone disclosed data on more than 4,000 customers. The vast majority of disclosures were in response to subpoenas by government agencies “often in drug enforcement cases or efforts to find specific individuals,” according to SFGate.

“Mark Toney, executive director of the Utility Reform Network watchdog group, said the sheer number of data disclosures made by SDG&E raised the possibility that government agencies wanted to sift through large amounts of data looking for patterns, rather than conducting targeted investigations.”

Refusing to allow a smart meter on your property is the only sure-fire way to ensure your energy use data won’t fall into the hands of government agents or private marketers, or end up stored in some kind of government database. Passage of HB3656 would make opting out a legal option for Texans and give them control over their own privacy.

IMPACT ON FEDERAL PROGRAMS

The federal government serves as a major source of funding for smart meters. A 2009 program through the U.S. Department of Energy distributed $4.5 billion for smart grid technology. The initial projects were expected to fund the installation of 1.8 million smart meters over three years.

The federal government lacks any constitutional authority to fund smart grid technology. The easiest way to nullify such programs is to simply not participate. HB3656 would make that possible. If enough states pass similar legislation, and enough people opt out, the program will go nowhere. Opting out follows a strategy James Madison advised in Federalist #46. “Refusal to cooperate with officers of the Union” provides a powerful means to fight back against government overreach. Such actions in multiple states would likely be effective in bringing down federal smart meter programs.

WHAT’S NEXT

At the time of this report, HB3656 had not been referred to a committee. Once it receives a committee assignment it will need to pass by a majority vote before moving forward in the legislative process.


Michael Maharrey [send him email] is the Communications Director for the Tenth Amendment Center.He proudly resides in the original home of the Principles of ’98 – Kentucky.See his blog archive here and his article archive here.He is the author of the book, Our Last Hope: Rediscovering the Lost Path to Liberty. You can visit his personal website at MichaelMaharrey.com and like him on Facebook HERE

The post Texas Bill Would Allow People to Opt Out of Smart Meters, Undermine Federal Program appeared first on The Sleuth Journal.


Source: http://www.thesleuthjournal.com/texas-bill-opt-smart-meters-undermine-federal/


Before It’s News® is a community of individuals who report on what’s going on around them, from all around the world.

Anyone can join.
Anyone can contribute.
Anyone can become informed about their world.

"United We Stand" Click Here To Create Your Personal Citizen Journalist Account Today, Be Sure To Invite Your Friends.

Humic & Fulvic Liquid Trace Mineral Complex

HerbAnomic’s Humic and Fulvic Liquid Trace Mineral Complex is a revolutionary New Humic and Fulvic Acid Complex designed to support your body at the cellular level. Our product has been thoroughly tested by an ISO/IEC Certified Lab for toxins and Heavy metals as well as for trace mineral content. We KNOW we have NO lead, arsenic, mercury, aluminum etc. in our Formula. This Humic & Fulvic Liquid Trace Mineral complex has high trace levels of naturally occurring Humic and Fulvic Acids as well as high trace levels of Zinc, Iron, Magnesium, Molybdenum, Potassium and more. There is a wide range of up to 70 trace minerals which occur naturally in our Complex at varying levels. We Choose to list the 8 substances which occur in higher trace levels on our supplement panel. We don’t claim a high number of minerals as other Humic and Fulvic Supplements do and leave you to guess which elements you’ll be getting. Order Your Humic Fulvic for Your Family by Clicking on this Link , or the Banner Below.



Our Formula is an exceptional value compared to other Humic Fulvic Minerals because...


It’s OXYGENATED

It Always Tests at 9.5+ pH

Preservative and Chemical Free

Allergen Free

Comes From a Pure, Unpolluted, Organic Source

Is an Excellent Source for Trace Minerals

Is From Whole, Prehisoric Plant Based Origin Material With Ionic Minerals and Constituents

Highly Conductive/Full of Extra Electrons

Is a Full Spectrum Complex


Our Humic and Fulvic Liquid Trace Mineral Complex has Minerals, Amino Acids, Poly Electrolytes, Phytochemicals, Polyphenols, Bioflavonoids and Trace Vitamins included with the Humic and Fulvic Acid. Our Source material is high in these constituents, where other manufacturers use inferior materials.


Try Our Humic and Fulvic Liquid Trace Mineral Complex today. Order Yours Today by Following This Link.

Report abuse

    Comments

    Your Comments
    Question   Razz  Sad   Evil  Exclaim  Smile  Redface  Biggrin  Surprised  Eek   Confused   Cool  LOL   Mad   Twisted  Rolleyes   Wink  Idea  Arrow  Neutral  Cry   Mr. Green

    Total 1 comment
    • Global Grist

      Regarding Smartmeters and fees:
      My Smartmeter made me and my wife ill. We both got better the day it was replaced with an analog.
      It violates my utility’s duty to provide safe equipment.
      It’s been shown that the former head of the CPUC knew that Smartmeters caused people harm and admitted as much.
      It’s been shown that other CPUC officials have admitted that the charge is needed to keep people forced into the Smartmeter program.
      The CPUC adopted this position to avoid health related issues from surfacing forcing proper equipment testing to be done.
      I put my utility on notice day one that I would not pay these extortion fees to get my health back.
      The fee is an unjust charge.
      I should be charging them for all the medical expenses and testing I had done to insure I didn’t have a brain tumor.
      In closing, they have already jacked up my rates, part of which is to finance the Smartmeter program that I do not participate in. Those funds more than offset their alleged cost to replace and read the meter information.
      A simple program of self-reporting by customers could easily be done with a true-up every 6 mos. or so to avoid having the utility read the analog meters every other month like they do.

    MOST RECENT
    Load more ...

    SignUp

    Login

    Newsletter

    Email this story
    Email this story

    If you really want to ban this commenter, please write down the reason:

    If you really want to disable all recommended stories, click on OK button. After that, you will be redirect to your options page.