Councilman Max Anderson generated cheers from the anti-meter crowd of about thirty people who stayed late into the night when he likened PG&E to a hitman, referring to the utility’s $40-plus million support of Proposition 16, a June ballot measure that sought to make it nearly impossible for local governments to jump into the public power market. “If somebody takes a shot at you and misses and then shows up on your doorstep with a care package for you with a suspicious ticking sound coming from it,” Anderson said, “I think you’d be very justified to be extremely suspicious of their intentions.”
Berkeley’s letter to the public utilities commission is one more in a small but growing stack. The commission said it had already received about 2,000 health-related complaints as of June 1, in addition to more than 1,500 non-health-related complaints pouring in from across the state — though most are from Northern California, and are specifically in reference to PG&E.
The commission contracted the Structure Group, headquartered in Houston, to provide an independent evaluation of PG&E’s SmartMeters. However, the evaluation will not look at radio-frequency emissions — only meter accuracy and the company’s billing and operational practices. PG&E is quick to point out that it already paid Richard Tell Associates to conduct a radio-frequency study and found that SmartMeters fall 15,000 times below FCC limits.
But many local activists are suspicious of the utility. “If one wants to believe PG&E, one would be considered naive,” said Lloyd Morgan, a 68-year-old retired electrical engineer and self-made radio-frequency expert. “Would that we had government agencies that actually checked to see if it’s all true.”
India, New Delhi
Russian Federation, Moscow City
Click on any of the pictures below
to learn more