Mainers Demand Criminal Investigation into Smart Meter Fees
Two dozen smart meter activists from the Maine Coalition to Stop Smart Meters gathered in front of the Public Utilities Commission Thursday requesting Maine’s Attorney General William Schneider open a criminal investigation into smart meter opt out fees.
In a formal letter received Wednesday by Schneider’s office from the Coalition, the group described how in order to avoid health and privacy harms from the detailed information gathering and radiation emitting meters, citizens were forced to pay extortionate fees. The Coalition requested Schneider target Central Maine Power and the Maine PUC in the extortion investigation.
Ed Friedman, one of the five speakers outside the MPUC said:
“If I must pay to avoid actual harm or even the threat of harm, to myself, my family or my property that is extortion. The federal Hobbs Act defines it as: “…the crime of obtaining property from another induced by wrongful use of actual or threatened force, violence or fear, or under color of official right.” Maine has a similar definition for theft by extortion. With smart meters, the harm and or threat of harm comes from:
• the emission of RF radiation known to create adverse biological effects,
• the invasion of privacy- facilitating warrant-less search and seizure of individual data by an agent of the government (utility acting under specific orders of the PUC),
• the compromising of personal cybersecurity, and;
• a taking of real property without due process of law or just compensation.”
In order to avoid these and other harms, customers must pay a coercive fee which if not paid can impact their credit scores and lead to disconnection of electrical service.
Other speakers specifically addressed health, privacy and fire hazard harms caused by the meters.
Yesterday’s protest and conference was part of an International Day of Action against Smart Meters that, citing thousands of reported health problems, ‘smart’ meter fires, and violations of privacy laws, called for the immediate halt of smart meter deployments and the recall those already installed.
AUGUSTA, Maine (AP) — Smart meter opponents in Maine are continuing to press for the Public Utilities Commission to eliminate a fee imposed on customers who opt out of the program.
Ed Friedman says there should be no fee for choosing not to allow installation of a device that he says is both an invasion of privacy and a health risk.
Two dozen activists protested last week outside the Public Utilities Commission offices in Augusta.
The commission thought it had dealt with health and safety issues in 2010, when the issue was first raised. But the state supreme court sided with opponents of the meters, who argued that regulators ignored their legal mandate to ensure the delivery of ‘‘safe, reasonable and adequate’’ utility service.
Now, the commissioners have opened a new investigation.
Take Back Your Power – Official Trailer [HD]
Released: 5 October 2012 | Length: 3:15
Our official trailer. Take Back Your Power is a historic community-funded film which exposes the technocratic “smart meter” agenda, by which corporations are currently attempting to quietly assert the basis for further control in the lives and homes of the world’s citizens. The film will also focus on specific solutions – which are presently available – for humanity to leapfrog outdated ideas of control, and co-create a better future.
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