Smart Meter Oral Arguments Heard (again) in Maine Supreme Judicial Court
On November 3, 2015 in Portland, attorneys on both sides of Maine’s ongoing smart meter case presented their oral arguments to Maine’s highest court. Each side had 15 minutes in which to make arguments supporting written briefs submitted in the first months of this year. Theoretically there is time to make the arguments but in reality attorneys are constantly interrupted with questions from the justices. While our attorney did very well, appealing any agency final decision is an uphill battle against reluctance on the part of courts to overturn or vacate decisions made by lower bodies. Approximately 20 supporters from as far as Camden, ME and Worcester, MA came to show support in the courtroom. Some rallied outside the court afterwards where they were photographed (see below). It will probably be several months before a decision is issued.
Grounds for appeal can be an error of law, error of fact and or a decision that was arbitrary and capricious. Our arguments are laid out in our written briefs. http://www.mainecoalitiontostopsmartmeters.org/2015/07/remaining-legal-briefs-submitted-in-maine-smart-meter-appeal-to-state-supreme-court/
They are at minimum:
Error of law: CMP had the legal burden to show smart meters were safe, we maintain they did not meet their burden and the PUC basically said only “they are safe enough.” Commissioner Littell admitted they probably do cause problems to those with sensitivities.
Error of fact: Meter testing by CMP/PUC was unrepresentative of entire meter population, worst case meters and exclusive of other system components like collector meters.
Arbitrary & capricious: The report conclusion was contradicted by much of the discussion, at least by one commissioner. In other words, an irrational conclusion based on the evidence and opinion proffered by one of the commissioners.
The Oral Arguments were videotaped and the proceeding can be watched here:
Our first Oral Arguments in the initial appeal before the Court can be seen here:
and were excerpted as an opening sequence in the film “Take Back Your Power.”
We received quite a bit of press with our latest appearance in the high Court. Here are links to various articles in order of publication:
- Coalition Press Release 10/30/15
- Associated Press wire story 10/31/15
- Portland Press Herald 11/2/15
- Maine Public Broadcasting 11/3/15
- Bangor Daily News 11/4/15
- Maine ACLU 11/4/15
- The Forecaster 11/4/15
Nearly 200 Expert EMF Scientists Appeal to UN and WHO
New York, NY, May 11, 2015. Today 190 scientists from 39 nations submitted an appeal (click here to read document) to the United Nations, UN member states and the World Health Organization (WHO) requesting they adopt more protective exposure guidelines for electromagnetic fields (EMF)and wireless technology in the face of increasing evidence of risk. These exposures are a rapidly growing form of environmental pollution worldwide. (Read More)
2/6/2015: There are literally thousands of research studies on the impacts of EMF/ RFR. The National Association for Children and Safe Technology offers valuable information as you start your journey of understanding this issue. This link http://www.nacst.org/science.html brings you to their page of research studies and links and provides a great place to begin exploring the rest of their resource-filled website. Children are our future, and kids along with pregnant women and the elderly are typically our most vulnerable members of society. NACST focuses on making home and school environments safer for children.
1/2/2015: Colorful Microwave Radiation Warning Cards Available for Distribution
(Click here to see cards)
These 2-sided 4” x 6” cards (in holiday colors) are available for personal use or distribution in stores, offices, schools or wherever RF devices may be in use. For 5 cards send a #10 SASE to us at the address below. For approximately 180 cards please send $20 to cover postage and cards. Printed on 100% recycled cardstock with soy inks.
Maine Coalition to Stop Smart Meters
P.O. Box 43
Richmond, ME 04357
1/2/2015: PUC Opinion
On December 19th the Maine PUC finally issued their long-awaited health and safety determination on smart meters. The 82 page decision was accompanied by a list of scientific studies accepted into evidence as Schedule A and by a list of lay-witness summaries as Schedule B. The decision includes an opinion from each commissioner.
Commissioner Littell wrote approximately 62 pages of thoughtful but ultimately tortured opinion. He thought well of our experts, recognized RF sensitivity was an issue for some people and thought those affected who supplied a letter to this effect from their physician, should have a no-cost opt out using a smart meter without transmitter [as distinct from the bulk of opt out customers who retain their analog meters]. The crux of Littell’s opinion was that while smart meters emit RF and RF may have biological effects, the exposure from smart meters is relatively small [when compared with a cell phone] and does not pose a credible risk of harm.
Commissioner Vannoy’s shorter opinion reflects the typical industry view where he disregarded the evidence and expert testimony we supplied and thought Maine should defer to the obsolete and irrelevant FCC guidelines from 1996. The final conclusion does not allow for Littell’s no-cost opt out.
Stay tuned for our response.
9/23/14: Maine Public Utilities Commission final deliberations in their investigation of smart meter health and safety. Commissioners David Littell [part 1] and Mark Vannoy [part 2]. PUC docket 2011-00262. For more information: PUC website [filings] or www.mainecoalitiontostopsmartmeters.org. We will wait for Commissioner Littell’s 62 page opinion to be posted and for an official Order to be published before further considering and deciding on our next steps. We will continue our resistance, because harm is not an option and extortion is not a choice.
Parts 1 & 2 of the Maine PUC proceeding discussing decision on smart meter health and safety investigation. Thanks to Martha Spiess for filming.
Part 1: 41minutes – primarily Commissioner David Littell
Part 2: 40 minutes – primarily Commissioner Mark Vannoy plus brief discussion
25 April 2014—Ed and Kathleen do a grassroots education session in Winslow! Read about it here.
12 April 2014—Read our Complainants’ Comments about the (bogus) Examiners’ Report to the MPUC commissioners here.
27 March 2014—The MPUC has issued its Examiner’s Report (see also the appendix). The MPUC’s comment period remains open until 11 April. Kit Weaver of SkyVision Solutions has posted a very fine analysis of the report (read it here). Our own Dianne Wilkins has this to say about the report:
The PUC refused to even look at over 1,300 peer-reviewed, published research studies showing harm to humans from the level of radio frequency radiation emitting from smart meters. Read the transcripts of the PUC to find this truth. Since the PUC had already approved and installed the smart meters before even determining if they could cause harm, it is highly unlikely any of them has the integrity/honesty or guts to admit they were wrong. Instead they are cowards who will radiate children, pregnant women (the most vulnerable) with toxic levels of radiofrequency radiation before admitting they are wrong. I was there and read all of those studies and heard the majority of the expert MD/PhD witnesses say this stuff causes cancer, infertility, brain damage, learning disabilities and much, much more. Trust me: throw the bums out, they are corrupt, this stuff is hurting people. Write your congressmen, protest—this is wrong.
And here’s Ed Friedman take:
While not surprising the PUC staff continues to thumb their nose at the law [ensure safety] and show their bias in favor of utilities, it’s particularly egregious they rejected something like 800 peer-reviewed scientific references submitted to them as evidence of RF bio-effects while casually accepting at face value, testimony from CMP’s product defense consulting firm Exponent, a firm that would be hired to assure citizens it’s perfectly safe to leave young women with Jack the Ripper.
27 January 2014—click here to find out about what the Maine Coalition to Stop Smart Meters has accomplished and why we need your help now.
27 January 2014—click here to read about the Reply Briefs filed this month with the MPUC.
22 December 2013—click here to go to Ed Friedman’s update about our grassroots case against Central Maine Power through the Maine Public Utilities Commission.
The MPUC has opened a new investigation into CMP! (Central Maine Power, or, as we call it, Central [SP]ain Power.) Read about it here.
Click here to see the legal documents and summary! In the fall of 2012 we began a major “smart-meter” safety investigation at the Maine PUC (MPUC). It will likely run into the summer of 2013. There have been and will be a ton of filings with the MPUC in this case. These can be accessed from the MPUC website; type in “2011-00262” in the Case Lookup field. We will shortly post our expert testimony and witness testimony on this site for your convenience.
ALERT: You are not required to give CMP your Social Security Number (click here for Social Security Administration guidelines)! If you supplied your SSN to CMP in the past, you can tell Customer Service to remove your SSN from your account.
Also, for those of us who have rejected not-so-smart CMP meters, CMP is now billing based on its “estimates” of your usage, rather than read the meter each month or—here’s a thought—ask you to read the meter and report the reading to CMP. (Fact for the day: Did you know that Central Maine Power [CMP] is a subsidiary of Iberdrola, a company headquartered in Spain?)
Expert and lay testimony (PUC filings) are at our Legal page, which also contains the stupendous summary Ed Friedman wrote of the whole CMP-MPUC fiasco to date.
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