• 02 JUN 13
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    Expert speaks at Arizona public meeting on smart meters

    From Elizabeth Kelly:

    Expert speaks at public meeting on smart meters

    Karen Warnick – The Independent | Posted: Thursday, May 30, 2013 5:00 am

    SHOW LOW — Smart meters have become a big subject in the media lately and opponents have challenged utilities and public commissions on their safety, health effects and privacy concerns. The Arizona Corporation Commission (ACC) is looking into the concerns as mentioned in a recent article in The Independent.
    A public meeting on smart meters was hosted by the White Mountain Conservatives and held at the Show Low VFW Hall on May 22. Elizabeth Kelley of Tucson was the speaker at the meeting. She has been a public advocate on electromagnetic frequencies (EMF) since the mid 1990s and has made numerous presentations to state, national and international officials. She founded and directs the Tucson-based Electromagnetic Safety Alliance and is the coordinator for Arizonans for Safer Utility Infrastructure, where she has been challenging the installation of smart meters.
    A 2010 Harpers Magazine article by Nathaniel Rich identifies Kelley as “the voice for EMF safety” in the United States. She was co-producer of the award-winning documentary film “Public Exposure: DNA, Democracy and the Wireless Revolution.”
    Kelley holds a master’s degree in public health administration and had a career as an analyst at the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. At the meeting, she presented the 50 or so people present with some startling facts about smart meters. She started off by demonstrating the sound of a microwave signal from a cell phone.

    Kelley stated that since the wireless revolution began some 20 years ago, we have become surrounded by an unnatural radiation field that interferes with the cells of the body that run on electrical impulses, which has led to a lot of serious health issues that are not being addressed.
    Section 704 of the 1996 Federal Telecommunications Act made it so that no state or local government could deny a permit for a cell tower for health reasons, said Kelley. The Federal Communications Commission (FCC) has made themselves the expert on radio frequency guidelines that are the law of the land, said Kelley, and that no state can set lower emissions standards than what the FCC has.
    Several legislators, mainly from Vermont, challenged Section 704 to get it repealed, but failed.
    This has lead to a “wall of silence” around EMF, wireless transmissions and smart meters, said Kelley.
    In 1999, a rider to the act was added that basically states that the federal government and the utilities cannot be held responsible for any harm from EMF, microwave transmissions and radio frequencies. All before any studies were or have been done on the long-term health effects. Independent experts have since come out with countless research that shows both long-term and short-term negative health effects.

    Kelley also told the audience that the FCC does not regulate smart meters because they are considered too small to cause any problem.

    Another issue is the violation of the Fourth Amendment and the right to privacy, said Kelley. There are no guidelines or protection for the data that is transmitted by these devices.

    Despite claims by the government and utility companies, Kelley said the AMI (Automated Metering Infrastructure, the same thing as smart meters) meters are transmitting all the time.
    “If they claim that we would be able to monitor our appliances and electrical usage in real time, then the meters would have to be transmitting all the time,” said Kelley.

    Part of the utilities’ education campaign on these meters is the ability to check customers’ usage either from home or on their cell phones, but Kelley said that most people do not or will not do that.
    “It’s not about saving energy, it’s about money,” said Kelley.

    Another point brought up by Kelley was the fact that nowhere, in any regulation, rule or law, does it state that smart meters are mandated. She also said that the ACC has more power to create legislation than almost any other state public commission in the country.

    Many of the people present asked questions of Kelley. One man asked how they could shield themselves from the transmissions. The answer was that you could use metal behind the meter, but the reflective quality of metal would still send the emissions out.

    Others asked who they would hold accountable for the damaging health effects that are now being documented. Again, the answer was not positive, as the system is set up so that the government and utilities have no liability.

    A petition to the ACC and the Arizona Legislature was passed around and several people took copies to collect signatures. The purpose of the petition is to get the ACC to take these concerns seriously and look further into the issues before finalizing their guidelines on smart meters.
    For more information on Kelley and smart meters, go to www.electromagneticsafety.org.

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