I was there with less than a handful of us on July 14, 2016 when the FCC announced 5G. The same week we started our efforts to educate Congress about 5G and wireless health effects. Whenever a 5G meeting/hearing was held, we were trying to get the members of the Committee to ask even just one question about the health effects. Yesterday, February 6, two and a half years later, it finally happened.
I got a call from Paul Mcgavin, who attended the Senate Commerce Committee meeting and he was excited to tell me that Senator Blumenthal made a comment about the health effects.
In the hearing titled Winning the Race to 5G and the Next Era of Technology Innovation in the United States Senator Blumenthal asked, “are there health and safety implications? Are there any safety implications?” to the millions of the small cells that are likely to be located “close to homes, schools work places and closer and closer to the ground” .
He mentioned the letter that he had sent to the FCC in December, 2018 asking Commissioner Carr from the FCC to cite him the research on which the FCC relied upon to guarantee the public that 5G is safe. While we still do not have a copy of the FCC’s response, apparently according to Blumenthal, Commissioner Carr “Essentially has failed to do so” and said he referred him to the FDA. In regard to the FDA website Blumenthal said: “if you go to the FDA website, pretty unsatisfactory, there is basically a cursory and superficial citations” and mocked the statement on its website saying that the FDA encourages industry to conduct research and it was on cell phones not 5G. Then he said: “I believe the American people deserve to know what the health effects are.”
Blumenthal also said: “We are flying blind here on health and safety”. That is though inaccurate. We know that the harms of non-thermal levels of RF/Microwave radiation are proven. We have more than ample scientific evidence and unfortunately also the Human Evidence in epidemic scales as states in the 5G Appeal. We are flying blind to a definite greater disaster.
To watch the video of the hearing PRESS HERE. Blumenthal starts at 2:04:00
Since the FCC and the FDA didn’t provide answers he followed the FDA recommendation and asked industry – panelists “how much money has the industry provided for independent research on biological effects? Shouldn’t we scientifically ascertain the health effects? ” One of the panelists replied, “we rely on the expert agencies. There are no industry backed studies underway. This new infrastructure is designed to be low powered, low interference.”
So the FDA relies on industry and industry relies on the FDA…how long will this mockery of the American people will continue?
Senator Wicker (R-MISS) who is the new Chairman of the Committee (replaced Sen. Thune (R-SD)) summarized the hearing by mentioning the need to protect privacy but in response to Blumenthal’s comments on health Wicker read a quote from the National Cancer Institute,saying the research shows there is no consistent evidence that non-ionizing electromagnetic radiation increases cancer risk. I wonder why he didn’t mention the Government’s own study, the NTP study the biggest and most expensive study on this issue which found CLEAR EVIDENCE of cancer and DNA damage.
Interestingly, the FCC did not appear in front of the Committee only industry was there. It is unusual. Considering the bad media the FCC has been getting following the House Commerce Committee accusing the FCC of Colluding with Industry and considering the municipalities lawsuit could it be that the Senate Commerce Committee (or industry which likely was involved in arranging this hearing) thought the FCC presence will contaminate the efforts to push 5G?
Now we will have to see who will be the next member of the Committee who will do the right thing and speak the truth.
KEEP WORKING, CHANGE IS HAPPENING.
Iowa Utilities Board: Alliant can’t charge opt-out fee for smart meters at this time
A bank of smart meters, one for each unit, is installed at Monroe Place in Cedar Rapids on Wednesday, Dec. 12, 2018. (Liz Martin/The Gazette)
However, a Wednesday ruling by the Iowa Utilities Board denied Alliant’s proposal to implement an extra charge for residential customers who opt out of the utility company’s advanced meter infrastructure. The ruling marks a victory for those opposed to smart meters — at least for now.
“I’m pleasantly surprised,” said Hartman, who has lived in Cedar Rapids for more than 20 years. “I’m really appreciative of the people in the community who spoke up with their dissatisfaction with the meters.”
On Wednesday, the Iowa Utilities Board rejected Alliant’s proposed electric and natural gas tariffs, which included charging an extra $15 per month if customers choose to stick with their existing meter.
However, the board ruled Wednesday that tariffs must allow residential customers the ability to opt out of advanced metering infrastructure — free of charge, at this time. Meter-reading costs are part of customers’ base rates, the board notes.
An opt-out option will not be available for non-residential customers or those involved in an optional, non-standard rate.
What’s more, the ruling directs Alliant to allow an area-wide opt-out option.
Alliant Spokesman Justin Foss said the ruling likely won’t affect a large number of customers, as 99.7 percent of Alliant’s Iowa customers have been accepting of smart meters.
He added that the ruling does not prohibit the utility from charging those who opt out entirely.
“Historically, regulated utilities are required to charge the customers for the costs that they cause,” Foss said. “This order does not say we cannot charge, but it must go through the rate case process. There could be a charge in the future.”
The Wednesday statement from the Iowa Utilities Board reiterates that it “does not preclude Alliant from seeking a customer charge or fee for its opt-out tariff as part of future rate cases.”
As of December, Alliant had deployed smart meters on about 335,000 of its roughly 500,000 meters in Iowa. The utility switched its roughly 470,000 Wisconsin customers to smart meters about a decade ago.
The meters send data back to the company, allowing it to better detect power outages so energy can be restored more quickly and provide more accurate information to customers in their energy bills.
Alliant officials have said smart meters provide a cost savings, as they do not need to be read manually every month.
With that in mind, the utility proposed in its tariffs fees for those wishing to stick with their existing meters, which have become non-standard equipment.
Opponents of smart meters — some of whom have raised concerns of security, privacy and public health — have argued that participation in advanced meter infrastructure should be optional and opting out shouldn’t come with added costs.
Meanwhile in the Iowa Legislature, Rep. Jeff Shipley, R-Fairfield, has pushed a bill that would provide statewide protections for area residents opposed to smart meters.
Shipley said he was happy to see Wednesday’s ruling, noting that he is not anti-utility but instead wants to see an atmosphere that is fair for both the utilities and the customers.
“I was very impressed with the Iowa Utilities Board, and to me this proves, in a sense, that the system works,” he said. “Concerned citizens can stand toe to toe with billion-dollar corporations and win. They can have their voices heard.”
Shipley said the ruling might force a few minor updates to his bill, but he still plans to push for statewide rules on smart meters.
The bill would prevent a utility company from charging a customers extra fees for opting out of smart meters or providing discounts to customers who choose smart meters.
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