No one knows the catastrophe of deregulating and privatizing public utilities like BGE than Maryland. Citizens have lobbied for decades trying to get our BGE regulated and public but under Clinton Wall Street global corporate neo-liberal O'Malley-----it got much worse as he pushed the merger with a national energy corporation that now uses Maryland citizens as profit-makers---Exelon profits have never been greater with Maryland ratepayers paying all operational and infrastructure costs! Add SMART METERS and we can end public subsidy for low-income citizens and start rationing energy to what these families can pay. All of these policies come to us from our Maryland Public Service Commission that is staffed with appointments from the Governor---in this case O'Malley. A Clinton neo-liberal appoints staff that maximize corporate profit on the backs of people. Who supports Clinton neo-liberals every election? Maryland labor union and justice organization leaders. Who is killed by this corporate energy/services policy? Labor and justice citizens.
I've studied some of the history of BGE taken from public to private and the mergers over the years. The frauds committed against ratepayers along with the price paid by the first privatization transfer sits in a Public Trust that no one ever hears about and it is likely empty. There should be a billion dollars or more in this Trust. Each merger the ratepayers get a hundred dollar check and then the rates are increased 50-70% erasing all of that rebate. Baltimore is of course the county with the greatest poverty and therefor subsidy for energy-----where does the corporate-friendly policy for energy originate?
IN THIS CASE----BALTIMORE.
I will give Senator McFadden this plus in addressing SMART METERS----but as you read this bill you see it is enacted in 2015 and a report scheduled for 2017 shows this may very well be a temporary stopgap. People not liking SMART METERS for health issues do not understand the largest problems with SMART METERS. The health issues are not very relevant but a study is not a bad thing. I am sure they will find no health risks and as this bill looks squarely at that issue---it seems likely they will simply reinstate this Smart Meter policy. The problems around the world with SMART METERS is that the global corporations allowed to install and operate this privatization of our water and energy has been found to soak customers with loaded bills with no recourse for these ratepayers. Lawsuits in California and Texas right now have citizens fighting and often with no route to justice over having energy turned off as they protest over-billing. Then you have targeted energy turnoffs of appliances; people forced to use energy only at certain times of days----these are the policy problems that need be discussed and McFadden seems to focus on the health issues that will ultimately be found not to exist.
HAS YOUR POLS EDUCATED YOUR COMMUNITIES ON ANY OF THESE ISSUES REGARDING SMART METERS? NOT A WORD IN MARYLAND.
So, it is not bad to demand these kinds of information from the use of Smart Meters---it just does not address the real problems and will only act to delay installation. Citizens of Maryland are now paying a few hundred dollars a year just to opt out of SMART METER installation.
Clinton neo-liberal O'Malley pushed that penalty policy!
SENATE BILL 9
By: Senator McFadden
Requested: August 26, 2014
Introduced and read first time: January 14, 2015
Assigned to: Finance
A BILL ENTITLED
AN ACT concerning 1
Gas and Electricity – Smart Meters – Customer Rights and Required Reports
SECTION 2. AND BE IT FURTHER ENACTED,
That on or before January 1, 2016, 8 and again on or before January 1, 2017, the Public Service Commission shall report to the Senate Finance Committee and the House Economic Matters Committee, in accordance with § 2–1246 of the State Government Article, on:
(1) any savings realized through the use of smart meters by utility companies or utility customers in the State; and
(2) any breaches to a utility company’s cybersecurity infrastructure, significant consequences of the breaches, and corrective actions taken.
SECTION 3. AND BE IT FURTHER ENACTED,
(a) On or before January 1, 2017, the Department of Health and Mental Hygiene and the Public Service Commission jointly shall report to the Senate Finance Committee and the House Economic Matters Committee, in accordance with § 2–1246 of the State Government Article, on the public health impact of smart meter deployment in the State.
(b) The report required under this section shall include, at a minimum:
(1) a summary of the Department of Health and Mental Hygiene’s activities assessing the health effects of smart meters in the State;
(2) a representative sample of radio–frequency levels measured at premises where smart meters have been installed; and
(3) evidence–based recommendations relating to the potential health effects of smart meters.
You can see this Bill on Smart Meters addresses the inspections for accuracy and gives consumers a pathway for seeking redress from faulty charges. Carter/Conaway is the only Baltimore pol sponsoring this approach.
HOUSE BILL 508
By: Delegates Glass, Aumann, Carr, Carter, Conaway, Fisher, Gutierrez, C. Howard, Impallaria, Kittleman, McConkey, McDonough, McMillan, Metzgar, Pena–Melnyk, S. Robinson, Rosenberg, Saab, Simonaire, Smith, Sophocleus, and Vallario
Introduced and read first time: February 11, 2015
(a) (1) By written request, a consumer may compel the Commission to inspect and test the consumer’s electric meter or gas meter.
(2) The consumer is entitled to be present for the test.
(b) (1) The Commission shall set a percentage tolerance limit for the accuracy 1 of an electric meter or gas meter.
(2) The Commission shall order a gas company or electric company to replace, [a meter] at the company’s expense, A METER PROVIDED BY THE COMPANY if the meter is incorrect to the prejudice of the consumer by more than the percentage tolerance limit set by the Commission.
(c) (1) The Commission shall set a uniform reasonable fee for meter test services under this section.
(2) (i) If the test indicates that [the] A meter PROVIDED BY THE COMPANY is within the percentage tolerance limit set by the Commission under subsection (b)(1) of this section, the consumer shall pay the test fee.
(ii) [If the test indicates that the meter is not within the percentage tolerance limit set by the Commission] IN ALL OTHER CASES, the Commission shall refund the fee.
As you see below, the evidence so far on health issues comes down as not harmful---and as McFadden knows-__Johns Hopkins will find Smart Meters not a health risk. This article shows who the people fighting Smart Meters to be----educated and upper economic citizens. They are worried more about the BIG BROTHER data information on all citizens home life----
THAT IS THE ISSUE FOR MOST AMERICANS....NOT HEALTH
The data collected by Smart Meters can be sold and it will tell what appliances you use and how much----when you are home during the day----whether you conserve water and energy or not----THIS IS THE PROBLEM! This data is already being used for social services/policing to identify people as being home and/or not working etc.
So, McFadden et al are pretending to address citizen complaints with a temporary measure and the second bill doesn't mention choice in selecting out of Smart Meters---ergo, Maryland has no one pushing to allow consumers the right to opt out period.
Smart Meters, Dumb Science
Posted: 02/28/2013 12:23 pm EST Updated: 04/30/2013 5:12 am EDT adopted a resolution attempting to ban the installation of smart meters by Pacific Gas and Electric, claiming that the devices pose "potential risks to the health, safety and welfare of Sebastopol residents." In taking this measure, Sebastpol officials followed the lead of Marin County (hardly a traditional bastion of conservative pseudoscience), which in 2011 passed a similar resolution. To date, PG&E has ignored both, claiming that only California's Public Utilities Commission has jurisdiction in the matter, but debate continues at several levels.
Those promoting these bans cite health risks. Some claim "electromagnetic hypersensitivity," or in other words that radiation from devices such as smart meters cause dizziness, fatigue, headaches, seizures, memory loss or other maladies. Others claim that smart meters cause cancer. Similar episodes have occurred in the UK, Canada and elsewhere, but on this as with many similar issues, pseudoscience is making the greatest inroads in the United States.
So what are the scientific facts here?
To begin with, smart meters use basically the same wireless technology as cell phones. The FCC, after reviewing many scientific studies, has set wireless radiation standards, with which all manufacturers of smart meters easily comply. The frequency of cellular technology microwave radiation corresponds to a wavelength of approximately 30 centimeters, or roughly one foot. This wavelength is thousands of times larger than structures in the brain responsible for mental processes, and so claims that wireless radiation can cause maladies such as "dizziness" or "memory loss" are absurd.
But what about other claims of smart meter health effects? What about claims of cancer? Here again, the scientific evidence is quite clear.
In 2010, a 13-nation study commissioned by the World Health Organization found at most a very minimal and partially contradictory link between cancer risk and heavy cell-phone usage. Along this line, concerns that cell phone usage by pregnant mothers endangers their fetuses are wildly exaggerated.
It is also instructive to compare the radiation levels of smart meters with those of other wireless devices. Smart meters only transmit data for roughly 1.4 seconds per day, at very low wattage. And even if one stands less than one meter (3 feet) from a smart meter when it broadcasts its data, the resulting microwave exposure is 550 times less than standing in front of an active microwave oven, and 1100 times less than holding an active cell phone to one's ear.
But even these reckonings are extremely conservative, because no one spends his or her life camped within three feet of a smart meter. Instead, such devices are typically on the outside of a residence, many feet from humans. Thus, given the incontestable law that microwave intensity decreases as the square of distance from the source, this means that exposure from smart meters is hundreds or thousands of times less than the figures in the previous paragraph. Indeed, 20-year exposure to radiation from smart meters is no greater than a single 30-minute cell phone call.
Several high-level governmental bodies have sponsored blue-ribbon panels to study the issue, but have found no cause for concern. As a 2011 report by the California Council on Science and Technology concludes, "Exposure levels from smart meters are well below the [FCC's established standards] for such [health] effects," and "There is no evidence that additional standards are needed to protect the public from smart meters."
With regards to cell phones, in a 2008 Congressional hearing, Robert Hoover (Director of the National Cancer institute's Epidemiology and Biostatistics Program), declared that the effect of cell phone radiation "appears to be insufficient to produce genetic damage typically associated with developing cancer." Numerous other studies are summarized at the National Cancer Institute website, which finds "no appreciable link between cell phone use and cancers of the brain, nerves, or other tissues of the head and neck." The NCI did recommend additional research, because cellular technology is changing, but found no reason for major concern.
In short, the health risk to radiation by smart meters is hundreds or thousands of times less than that of cell phone usage, which in turn is so small as to be barely measurable even in large multi-nation studies (if it exists at all).
So why do people still oppose smart meters? Are they ignorant of the scientific facts? At the very least, both leaders and followers of the anti-smart meter movement are being inconsistent. After all, if they truly are convinced that microwave radiation constitutes a material threat to good health, even at extremely low levels, then they should:
- Not even carry, much less use, a cell phone, smart phone or tablet.
- Not permit anyone else coming to their residence to carry or use a cell phone, smart phone or tablet.
- Avoid Bluetooth technology for earphones, printers and computer mice.
- Not visit any business establishment (almost all) that has public or private WiFi in use.
- Not visit any business establishment (almost all) that permits customers to carry or operate cell phones.
Here you see why Maryland has handed so much control of our utilities to corporations and empowered the Public Service Commission to cede more and more control to the corporations.
Somehow it is modernization to deregulate the requirements of energy corporations to file and list changes that will affect the ratepayers----and gives these corporations more power to enact changes without the Maryland Public Service Commission's OK. This is Baltimore's Pugh working for Johns Hopkins in deregulating and eliminating oversight and accountability.
Please glance through-I don't include detailed instructions regarding how these energy corporations can interact with other corporate entities financially and operationally without involving our Public Service Commission.
Exelon has already merged with yet another energy corporation and our Maryland Public Service Commission is being taken out of the loop as to having voice in what these mergers and partnerships look like and that is VERY, VERY, VERY BAD.
Who is hurt most by further deregulation of growing national energy corporations besides EVERYONE? Low-income communities of color who are Sheila Pugh's major constituents.
I WORK FOR JOHNS HOPKINS SAYS PUGH, NOT PEOPLE IN MY DISTRICT!
Public Utilities----Telecommunications Law----Modernization sponsored by Senator Pugh
FOR the purpose of providing that a telephone company is not required to file with the Public Service Commission a certain tariff schedule for certain retail services except under certain circumstances; requiring a telephone company to post on a certain Web site certain rates and charges for certain retail intrastate wireline telephone services; limiting the types of services for which a telephone company may not establish a new rate or change in rate under certain circumstances to only rates for services that the telephone company files in a certain tariff schedule; allowing a telephone company to discontinue or abandon a certain regulated retail service under certain circumstances after providing certain notice; providing that prior authorization of the Commission is not required for certain transactions involving a certain franchise, capital stock, or obligations or liabilities between a certain telephone company and a certain entity under certain circumstances; prohibiting the Commission or any other State unit or local government from restricting in a certain manner a telephone company’s choices to use a certain technology or facility to provide services; allowing a telephone company to satisfy certain statutory and regulatory obligations through the use of certain technology or facility of its choosing; providing that the use of certain technology or facility by a telephone company to provide certain services may not confer a certain jurisdiction or authority; defining certain terms; and generally relating to modernizing the telecommunications law for services provided by telephone companies.
(2) (I) NOTWITHSTANDING SUBSECTIONS (A) AND (B) OF THIS SECTION, § 4–501 OF THIS TITLE, OR ANY OTHER LAW TO THE CONTRARY, EXCEPT AS PROVIDED UNDER SUBPARAGRAPH (II) OF THIS PARAGRAPH, A TELEPHONE COMPANY IS NOT REQUIRED TO FILE WITH THE COMMISSION A TARIFF SCHEDULE OF ITS RATES AND CHARGES FOR ITS RETAIL SERVICES, INCLUDING A RETAIL SERVICE THAT IS REGULATED USING AN ALTERNATIVE FORM OF REGULATION UNDER § 4–301 OF THIS TITLE.
(II) SUBSECTIONS (A) AND (B) OF THIS SECTION SHALL APPLY TO:
1. A REGULATED RETAIL TELEPHONE SERVICE OF A TELEPHONE COMPANY TO AN INMATE; AND
2. A REGULATED SELECTIVE ROUTING, AUTOMATIC NUMBER IDENTIFICATION, AND AUTOMATIC LOCATION IDENTIFICATION SERVICE OF A TELEPHONE COMPANY TO A PUBLIC SAFETY ANSWERING POINT.
(3) (I) EXCEPT AS PROVIDED IN SUBPARAGRAPH (II) OF THIS PARAGRAPH, A TELEPHONE COMPANY IS REQUIRED TO POST ITS RATES AND CHARGES FOR ITS RETAIL INTRASTATE WIRELINE TELEPHONE SERVICES ON A PUBLIC INTERNET WEB SITE.
(II) A TELEPHONE COMPANY IS NOT REQUIRED TO POST ITS RATES AND CHARGES FOR ITS VOIP SERVICES DESCRIBED UNDER TITLE 8, SUBTITLE 6 OF THIS ARTICLE.
(a) THIS SECTION APPLIES TO A TELEPHONE COMPANY ONLY WITH RESPECT TO THE RATES OF SERVICES THAT THE TELEPHONE COMPANY FILES IN A TARIFF SCHEDULE UNDER § 4–202(C) OF THIS SUBTITLE.
(B) Unless otherwise ordered by the Commission, a public service company may not establish a new rate or change in rate unless the public service company:
(1) provides to the Commission notice of the new rate or change in rate at least 30 days before the new rate is established or current rate is changed; and
(2) publishes the new rate or change in rate in accordance with § 4–202 of this subtitle during the entire 30 day notice period in new schedules or plainly indicated amendments to existing schedules.
[(b)] (C) The public service company shall plainly set forth in the notice and publication:
(1) the changes that it proposes to the rate schedules currently in force; and
(2) the effective date of the changes.
AS MARYLAND AND ESPECIALLY BALTIMORE POLS CONTINUE TO DEREGULATE BGE/EXELON----THEY ARE PLACING THE CITIZENS OF MARYLAND IN THE HANDS OF A NATIONAL CORPORATION CONTROLLED BY GLOBAL CORPORATIONS AND WALL STREET SPECULATION AND O'MALLEY ET AL HAS MADE SURE MARYLAND RATEPAYERS WILL SUBSIDIZE ALL COSTS OF OPERATIONS AND INFRASTRUCTURE JUST TO MAXIMIZE PROFITS. CAN YOU IMAGINE WHAT SMART METERS IN THE HANDS OF GLOBAL CORPORATIONS WILL LOOK LIKE?
As you see below----Exelon is expanding all over the country and there is the natural gas connection----export terminals----O'Malley pretended to study fracking as he was working as head of the Governor's Association to create global markets and export natural gas.
WHO KNEW EXELON WAS INVOLVED IN NATURAL GAS AND EXPORTING? EVERYONE! WHO IS A MAJOR SHAREHOLDER FOR NATURAL GAS CORPORATIONS IN TEXAS ET AL? JOHNS HOPKINS' HIGH STAR INVESTMENT FIRM.
LNG Export Plant Seen as Credit Risk for Exelon
— 7:05 PM ET 03/16/2015 DALLAS - Pursuing a $5 billion liquefied natural gas export facility at the Port of Brownsville, Texas, would threaten the Baa2 credit rating of the Exelon Corp. ( EXC ) that is financing the project, according to Moody's Investors Service ( MCO ). The company hopes to begin construction of the so-called Annova Project by third-quarter 2017, with a goal of making the project operational by December 2019.
Five companies have said they intend to file with Federal Energy Regulatory Commission to develop LNG terminals at Brownsville. In all, 11 proposed projects have been announced in Texas and four have announced private investment of about $38 billion.
The push for LNG export facilities comes as gas producers in Texas seek to expand markets amid sharply falling energy prices in the U.S. A glut of oil and gas has led to a storage crisis in Cushing, Okla., and other sites where fuel is stored in hopes of obtaining higher future prices.
The Texas Railroad Commission, an agency that facilitates oil and gas development in Texas, is also pushing for development of LNG facilities in the state.
Cheniere Energy of Houston is expected to be the first company to export gas next year from its $20 billion Sabine Pass facility in Cameron Parish, La., near the Texas border. It is building another $13 billion facility near Corpus Christi it hopes will open for business by 2018.
FERC has also approved construction of the Freeport LNG facility on Quintana Island, near Galveston. The government has given early approval to the Sempra LNG terminal in Hackberry, La.
"We expect ExGen to aggressively use debt financing at its Annova project, most likely with a non-recourse project financing structure, but consolidated on the balance sheet," Moody's ( MCO ) said of the proposed Brownsville LNG plant. "Our estimates assume Annova produces about $500 million in EBITDA [Earnings Before Interest, Taxes, Dividends, Amortization] and costs around $5 billion to build and is 100% debt financed." Annova LNG's facility would border the Brownsville Ship Channel on 650 acres designated by the Port of Brownsville for industrial use, about eight miles from the Gulf of Mexico.