Regulators ordered to reopen dispute over smart meters

Regulators ordered to reopen dispute over smart meters
Associated Press 1:47 p.m. EDT May 3, 2015

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Jackson — State utility regulators have been ordered to reopen a dispute over costs charged to customers who don’t want high-tech meters from Consumers Energy.

The Michigan appeals court last week said key issues are unclear, especially whether the cost of using old analog meters is already baked into rates. It ordered the Public Service Commission to hold a hearing and write an opinion.

People who don’t want high-tech meters from Consumers Energy would pay a one-time charge on top of a monthly charge.

So-called smart meters typically allow utilities to monitor electricity without sending an employee to each address. Customers can go online and see how much electricity is being used on an hourly basis.

Critics are concerned about privacy and any possible environmental impact.

 http://www.detroitnews.com/story/news/local/michigan/2015/05/03/regulators-reopen-smart-meter-debate/26834773/

Copyright 2015 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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Texas State Guard ordered to monitor military’s Operation Jade Helm 15

Texas State Guard ordered to monitor military’s Operation Jade Helm 15

April 29

Two months after news surfaced that U.S. Special Operations troops will launch a broad training operation in several southwestern states this summer, the Texas state government is registering new concerns: Gov. Greg Abbott called Tuesday for the Texas State Guard to monitor the mission.

Abbott, a Republican, said in a letter to Maj. Gen. Gerald “Jake” Betty that he wants monitoring of Operation Jade Helm 15 “to address concerns of Texas citizens and to ensure that Texas communities remain safe, secure and informed occurring in their vicinity.” It marks the first time that a state governor has responded to outrage from those who fear the training exercise isn’t what the military promises.

[Why Operation Jade Helm 15 is freaking out the Internet — and why it shouldn’t be]

“During the training operation, it is important that Texans know their safety, constitutional rights, private property rights and civil liberties will not be infringed,” Abbott wrote. “By monitoring the Operation on a continual basis, the State Guard will facilitate communication between my office and commanders of the Operation to ensure that adequate measures are in place to protect Texans.”

The State Guard falls under the command of the Texas National Guard and the governor, and is focused on providing support to local authorities in times of crisis. It is considered an organized, legal state militia.

The operation, announced by U.S. Army Special Operations Command in March, has prompted widespread conspiracy theories that the United States is preparing to hatch martial law. That is especially so in Texas, which was labeled in briefing slides prepared for local officials as hostile:

This map shows the military’s plan during the exercise Jade Helm 15, which begins in July. (U.S. Army Special Operations Command map)

As Checkpoint noted in March, the military has routinely launched exercises in which regions of the United States are identified as hostile for the purpose of training. But conspiracy theories continue to persist. Some have even hypothesized that the rioting in Baltimore is actually a cover for the military to take over through Jade Helm 15:

http://www.washingtonpost.com/news/checkpoint/wp/2015/04/29/as-conspiracy-theories-persist-governor-asks-texas-state-guard-to-monitor-militarys-operation-jade-helm-15/

In California, Exploding “Smart Meters” Spy on Your Water Use

THE NEW AMERICAN

Wednesday, 08 April 2015

In California, Exploding “Smart Meters” Spy on Your Water Use

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Government’s latest Orwellian tools to spy on citizens, known as “smart meters,” are literally blowing up and catching fire, risking lives and property to facilitate what even officials acknowledge amounts to intrusive state surveillance. In fact, your home may already have been fitted with one of the dangerous meters in recent years. The latest explosions of the controversial espionage devices, used to monitor citizens’ electricity and water usage, happened in California last week. Amid a government-caused water shortage across the state, bureaucrats are hoping to use the hazardous meters to catch citizens consuming more than their government-approved water rations. As more and more “smart” meters explode and burst into flames, though, citizens concerned about safety — not to mention privacy and liberty — are increasingly fighting back.

According to local news reports, more than 5,000 homes in Stockton, California, were left without power late last month after the smart meters on the houses exploded. “Neighbors in the South Stockton area described it as a large pop, a bomb going off, and strong enough to shake a house,” reported CBS13 on its website. Resident Brad Abernathy was quoted as saying that his neighbor’s electricity receptacles “are all blackened” from the event. Apparently the blasts and resulting damage were caused when a truck crashed into a utility pole and two wires touched, producing a power surge that blew up the unstable meters. The damage reportedly varies by house, and a spokesperson for the utility said that home appliances may have also been damaged in the surge. Electrical panels were being replaced as well.

http://www.thenewamerican.com/tech/energy/item/20631-in-california-exploding-smart-meters-spy-on-your-water-use