Opt-out Available for PSO’s Smart Meters – at a cost‏

[Received via Email from Gary Kilpatrick with permission to share at the end. Thanks Gary for excellent info and important follow-up to my previous post/sc]

smart-meterPSO is now removing our reliable analog electric meters and replacing them with digital “smart” meters that include a wireless transmitter/receiver. But PSO has not told customers that an unofficial opt-out list exists. I say unofficial because the opt-out program is not legal until the Oklahoma Corporation Commission (OCC) gives its approval, which they could do any day.

Lack of space forbids a full discussion of why a smart meter might not be such a good idea, but in summary smart meters are undesirable because they are a health hazard due to increased radiation exposure; they significantly increase the risk of cyber-security breaches of the electric grid; they provide further tools for an invasive government to perform warrantless monitoring of your home; they provide valuable data about your personal habits which power companies desire to be able to market; and due to their fragile, high-tech construction smart meters are prone to failure, often resulting in fires in consumer’s homes.

Although I am pleased that PSO is offering an opt-out, PSO has asked for exorbitant opt-out fees: a one-time fee of $183 if you opt-out before 12/31/2016 and $261 after 12/31/2016; and a monthly charge of $28.

In a hearing at the OCC Wednesday of this week the Oklahoma Attorney General, representing PSO’s customers, stated that the fees proposed by PSO were not fair, just and reasonable. The Attorney General provided several means by which the estimated costs of the opt-out program could be reduced; offered evidence of opt-out fees from a number of states, all of which were significantly lower than those proposed by PSO (the average monthly fee in the other states was $11); and argued that it was inappropriate for PSO to charge monthly opt-out fees at this time because the cost of reading existing meters is already imbedded in the electric rates customers are currently paying. In addition the Attorney General noted that in a recent filing OG&E has requested approval of an opt-out program and their one-time fee is 38% lower than PSO’s and OG&E’s monthly fee is 50% lower than PSO’s.

An additional problem with PSO’s opt-out program is that it does not include any consideration for those people who are extremely sensitive to micorwave radiation nor for low income households. Both the medically sensitive and low income households will suffer the most when a smart meter is installed on their homes, and it is unconscionable that the opt-out fees have been set so high.

If you, like me, do not desire to have a smart meter, then I suggest the following:

1) Call PSO customer service at 1-888-216-3523 and ask to be put on the opt-out list for smart meters. You will receive a call from the Bartlesville customer service representative. She will tell you that no official list exists yet, and will try to convince you to change your mind. Be polite – she is just doing her job. The decision to charge unreasonable opt-out fees – to even install smart meters in the first place – was made way up the PSO food chain. After making this call tape a note to your existing analog meter stating that you do not want a smart meter and that you have asked to be put on the opt-out list. Although PSO initially agreed to honor this unofficial opt-out list, they have not been uniform in their response when they (actually their contractors) come to your house to slap the new meter on (that is literally how it happens);

2) Call the three OCC Commissioners (Dana Murphy @405-521-2267; Todd Hiett @ 405-521-2264; and Bob Anthony @ 405-521-2261) and tell them you support, in fact demand, an opt-out program, but the fees proposed by PSO are not fair, just and reasonable. In addition tell them you want to keep your analog meter, not some partially disabled smart meter. Under the opt-out program PSO plans on giving you a digital meter with the communication chip disabled. There are very good safety reasons why you should want to keep your analog meter. Call soon, they could vote any day;

3) Call the Attorney General’s office and thank him for representing “we the people” in the PSO opt-out case and encourage him to continue to aggressively represent the people of Oklahoma against big business and big government; and finally

4) Attend an information meeting about the hazards of microwave radiation exposure (cell phones, smart meters, portable phones, baby monitors, etc.) to be held on Thursday, February 4th at 6:30 P.M. at the Bartlesville Public Library.

Gary Kilpatrick
Bartlesville, OK

P.S. Feel free to forward this email liberally. The thing PSO fears most is a tremendous outcry against their outrageously high fees for customers simply wanting to keep their old analog meters rather than exposing their family’s to unnecessary radiation.

Do Not Connect the Dots USA via GiN: Keystone XL Pipeline will Increase Gas Prices!

TransCanada Trojan Horse: Keystone XL Pipeline Will Increase Gas Prices

Grassroots in Nebraska via Shelli Dawdy

As we’ve noted here, more than once, our primary interest in the Keystone XL pipeline project was the conduct of Nebraska’s elected officials at both the state and federal levels, and serious concerns about property rights. We did not have an overall position on the project and we did not recommend any particular action. Our simple purpose was to expose, as widely as possible, the truth according to all of the information that we had available so that Nebraskans would learn who is representing them (or not) in office.It was our analysis that Nebraskans’ primary concern is the property rights issue; people are particularly repulsed that a private foreign company has the power under our state laws to invoke eminent domain.

We did not call for a special session of the State Legislature because:

  • Too many legislators who had previous opportunity to act chose not to; they were either deliberately obtuse, at best, or actively worked to bury information about the State of Nebraska’s ability to exert its sovereignty.
  • The eminent domain problems within Nebraska’s statutes have not been mentioned by any legislators expressing concern, or by the Governor, so it was unlikely to be dealt with by them during the special session.
  • We were concerned that legislators would create or expand a state commission with appointed or hired members not accountable to the people of Nebraska, which would result in yet another morass of bureaucracy. In addition to poor stewardship of taxpayers’ money, elected officials would be provided “political cover”. Ultimately, we feared, it would prove ineffective now and in future.

Nebraska’s officials have already placed the State in an intractable position…

  • No action meant no fix for the property rights problem, no exertion of state sovereignty, inadequate reimbursement to counties for expenses caused by project, etc., and continued concerns about the pipeline’s placement through Holt County, which arguably, is a point of vulnerability along the route.
  • Action as proposed still meant no protection for property owners, high potential for running afoul of the Constitution (ex post facto1.  and “special legislation”2), and delays resulting in a costly lawsuit filed by TransCanada (bad faith3) and now, reportedly, potential lawsuits filed by other states in the line of the project.

Prior to this past weekend, at most, we would’ve recommended concerned Nebraskans focus on a “Hail Mary” effort to impact the eminent domain problem during the special session of the Unicameral. But, in researching some questions associated with this, we discovered some very disturbing information. It’s been difficult to absorb.

Our research is ongoing – what we know so far leads us to the following conclusions:

The TransCanada Keystone Xl pipeline project will result in increased gas and diesel prices in 15 Midwestern States – to the detriment of those states’ citizens and economies.

The project, led by TransCanada, was apparently designed by a cartel-like group of interests, essentially, as a market price manipulation tool.

TransCanada’s own documents confirm the purpose of the project; a 2009 permit application submitted to the Canadian National Energy Board lays out the facts. In addition, a group researching questions regarding TransCanada’s claims of “job creation”, allege the company made similar statements in shareholder presentations; but we have not had time to confirm as of this writing.

The permit application document includes the following points4

  • Bitumen projects (tar sands oil) are cheaper to develop than synthetic crude
  • New export markets are needed to handle increased heavy crude output
  • Keystone XL Pipeline provides a line for getting heavy crude to new markets now – option to move synthetic crude in future
  • PADD III (see map, below) is the largest untapped market for western Canadian crude oil producers
  • The U.S. Gulf Coast (USGC), within the PADD III region is the stated target market for the Keystone XL Pipeline
  • TransCanada has binding long term contracts with shippers in the USGC which are not fully available for public viewing
  • The fifteen state Midwest region, PADD II, is oversupplied with Canadian heavy crude and currently receiving “a discount” (translation: selling for a lower price)
  • Keystone XL will “strengthen” (translation: increase) prices for Canadian producers by removing oversupply
  • Keystone XL provides additional benefit for transport out of any synthetic crude oversupply in Midwest (PADD II) “to mitigate a price discount” (translation: avoid price reductions)
  • All Canadian producers should benefit from resulting price increases (estimated at $2 – $3.9 billion)

Market analyst Philip Verleger projected a $.10 – $.20 increase in cost per gallon as a result of the project, in his editorial entitled, “If gas prices go up further, blame Canada“, in the March 13, 2011, edition of theStarTribune.

Energy Information Administration U.S. Petroleum Administration for Defense District (PADD)

We do not claim to be the first group to point out the purpose of this pipeline, but it’s clear that the most important aspect of this issue has gotten completely lost or was never considered. Our research shows that several national news outlets and a U.S. Senator have attempted to draw attention to the market manipulation issue. See Footnote5 for a couple of examples.

Several groups in Nebraska have included, at one time or another, passing references to the fact that the pipeline will increase gas prices, but we have only seen it included in a general list of concerns, and it is always overwhelmed by a long list of environmental rhetoric.

One story on the subject did appear in the Lincoln Journal Star in February of this year, but for no explicable reason, this information has not appeared in any of the recent articles or editorials we’ve seen. Since the entire project is predicated on the concept of “national interest”, any coherent analysis of the subject would necessarily include concerns about negative impact.

The pipeline project undermines America’s sovereignty, erodes energy security, and decreases the likelihood we will tap our own oil.

Read the rest of the article on Grassroots in Nebraska here >>>

Posted by Sandra Crosnoe for Finding Gems & Sharing Them

Cross Posted OKGrassroots

Washington County: Operation Clean House (may not be what you think it is!) Public Service Announcement

Washington County:  Operation Clean House Public Service Announcement,  This is an annual countywide recycling event and is scheduled for Saturday, April 16, 2011 from 8AM to 2PM.  See flyer for details — posted by Sandra Crosnoe for Finding Gems & Sharing Them via http://www.scrosnoe.com  The other side of the flyer lists what you can bring, what you cannot bring, where to take the items and who is sponsoring the event.  Be safe my friends and do your part to help keep our city clean and safe for everyone!

Back of flyer:


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