- Smart Meter Hearings in Michigan
- Letters Constituents Have Written—A Sample
- Responses from Representatives
- Contact Information for State Representatives
Smart Meter Hearings in Michigan
Over 200 people attended the hearings on smart meters held before the Michigan House Government Oversight Committee, chaired by Representative Tom McMillin. Nearly one hundred people testified on the effects of smart meters on their health. Representative McMillin called the hearings because House Energy Committee Chair Aric Nesbitt has refused to hold hearings on McMillin’s analog opt-out bill despite hundreds of Michigan residents writing and calling his office to urge that hearings be held. The hearings were a chance to get health problems and citizen comments on the public record. Unfortunately, the hearings are not the precursor to a bill in this legislative session. The hearing was held December 2, 2014 in Lansing. McMillin held DTE’s feet to the fire, not letting them get away with their empty statements that didn’t answer his questions.
Here is how one person in attendance summarized the hearing:
I had no idea how many people are seriously affected by these RF signals, even though I thought I was well-versed after viewing the movie Take Back Your Power. There were 200 people in attendance,and many testified about their illnesses resulting from smart meters. Many more were unable to attend because of the intensity of RF signals around and inside the capitol building area.
Some have become so ill they have resorted to living off the grid involuntarily because of DTE's refusal to return their analog meters. Others testified they moved out of their house and into their RV in the yard. There were experts in the medical and electronic fields testifying. We listened to testimony from 4 PM until 9:30 PM last night, and three-quarters of the people were still there.
The utility companies’ testimony was all about more marketing of these meters rather than any acknowledgement of the illnesses or 4th Amendment violations. MPSC representatives testified as if they were on the same side as that of the utility companies. One of the victims of RF signals testified that huge amounts of campaign contributions were given to Attorney General Bill Schuette, Governor Snyder, Lt Governor Calley, and Johnson in the recent election cycle.
Everyone in Michigan needs to begin talking very seriously with their state legislators about an analog opt-out bill. We won’t get anywhere unless citizens take action! If you are interested in working with others on getting legislation passed, contact us. We will connect you with others who are working hard on this effort.
The press basically had a black-out on reporting. Only a few papers reported it, and none of the major Detroit-area papers did so. MLive Lansing had a good report. One Representative besides McMillin stayed for the entire 4½-hour hearing, Rose Mary Robinson of Michigan’s 4th District.
Videos (Part 1 and Part 2) or MP3 (Part 1 and Part 2) of the entire December 2, 2014 hearing on smart meters before the Michigan House Government Oversight Committee, chaired by Representative Tom McMillin. Includes many people testifying about the detrimental effects of the meters on their health, and the lame responses of DTE and Consumers Energy.
To see the written testimony submitted at the hearing, go to the House Government Oversight Committee page. Scroll down the page until you see a button that says “open testimony.” Look for testimony dated 12/2/2014. Hit the button “open testimony” to read a specific testimony. Much of this regards the terrible health effects the meters have had on individuals.
The hearing lasted over 4½ hours, over 200 people attended (overflow went into another room, which the press didn’t report, making the numbers seem half of what they were), and nearly 100 people spoke. DTE, Consumers Energy, and the Michigan Public Service Commission were all given an opportunity to speak.
Highlights from the Hearing
Numerous people testified about the effects on their health after smart meter installation, including waking at 4 a.m. after having slept well in home for 30 years, insomnia, heart palpitations, ringing in ears (tinnitus), flu-like symptoms, blood-sugar spikes, rashes, anxiety, high blood pressure, headaches, bloody noses, etc. See the videos of the hearings (Part 1 and Part 2) for moving stories , and also the written testimony submitted at the hearing for more examples. Also see the very good story in Oakland Press on illness caused by smart meters.
Here are a few highlights from the hearing, compiled by Barb Galster of Shelby Township. She was able to stay for only a short while. We hope to have up a transcript of the testimony very soon. Meanwhile, watch the videos. Click here to read all of Barb’s notes.
Dominic and Lillian Cusmano: Synopsis of their experience. November 2012 Lillian noticed flu-like symptoms whenever visiting their second home in Oakland county. She only experienced problems there, the symptoms would stop when residing in primary home. Didn’t know why. Someone mentioned that perhaps a smart meter had been installed on their Oakland county home. They found out that 800,000 meters had been installed in N. Oakland County (including the home where she experienced symptoms), without any notice by DTE or authorization by the residents.
Representative McMillin asked DTE AMI manager Robert Sitkauskas what the harm is in allowing people to keep analog meters. Sitkauskas raised DTE's tired old cry: This is a business decision about updated technology. In other words, he didn’t answer the question, because the analog meters, by DTE’s own admission, work just fine, have a depreciable life of 43 years (vs smart meters’ 7–10 year expected life), and can last over 80 years. There is a ready supply of analog meters, as DTE and utilities around the country are removing them in droves.
Abigail Noble stated that the role of government should not be primarily to care for corporations such as DTE and Consumers Energy. She stated that there are important principals in governing: securing citizens’ rights to life; securing safety in citizens own homes; promoting health in the community; doing everything possible to secure individual rights to health and happiness.
Consumers Energy representative stated that these meters represent great potential for technological advances. She was unable to answer Representative Rose Mary Robinson’s question regarding what great advances were in store due to the new technology.
West Bloomfield Township Supervisor Michelle Ureste said that the state should be more concerned about children’s health than improved service times the utility companies claim smart meters provide.
Dick Mannaseri asked why a bill protecting wind turbine companies from health-related lawsuits could be brought to committee in 2 weeks’ time, while the analog opt-out bill protecting the health of citizens has been languishing without a hearing for two years.
News Reports on Hearing
Michigan residents link smart meters to medical problems, testify in front of legislative committee. MLive, Lansing. Very good story.
“Concerns raised by residents about the installation of Advance Metering Infrastructure, or smart meters, in Macomb County recently prompted Sterling Heights City Manager Mark Vanderpool to pen a letter to the city's representatives in Lansing, urging them to support amendments to legislation that would allow residents to opt out of the installation [with an analog meter] without an additional cost.
The Lansing Journal decided to focus on privacy and histrionics rather than the health issue, which was the reason the hearing was called.
Interview on WJR radio with Tom McMillin, who convened the smart meter hearings in the MI House Government Oversight Committee. Scroll down to the podcasts. It is dated Dec 1st with Rep McMillin.
Letters Constituents Have Written—A Sample
#1 – Opt-Out and Health
#2 - Health Focus
#3 - Privacy-Liberty-Health Focus-SHORT
#4 - Locked meter taken - Health-Choice Focus
#5 - Reps and Senator - Privacy-Choice Focus
#6 - Health-Privacy Focus
#7 - Health Focus-Tinnitus
#8 - Dirty Electricity - Health Focus
#9 - Privacy-Long Letter worth reading
#10 Sample Letter on Dirty Electricity--How to Respond to Reps Who Tell You the Opt-out Meter Will Solve the Problem
Responses from Representatives
To read the responses of various representatives to constituent letters, click here. Sadly, most legislators are misinformed and/or uncaring.
Contact Information for State Representatives
Contact Information for State Representatives
Find your own representative: http://house.michigan.gov/MHRPublic
Find your own senator: http://www.senate.michigan.gov/fysbyaddress.html
Blind copy us on your letter: SmartMeterEducationNetwork@gmail.com
Newsletter, Facebook—Stay Up to Date
Stay up to date by subscribing to our newsletter (it comes out every 1 to 4 weeks). We constantly update our website, so check back often. You can find updates and time-sensitive actions to take under our “Alerts and Breaking News” box. We also use Facebook to send out quick news updates. (While we understand the privacy concerns with Facebook, at this point in time it is a useful tool for us, and is a great way to spread the word about smart meters. If you only wish to use Facebook for access to our updates, you can get an account without revealing personal information—it’s all in what you choose to share, and you can give them any name or birthdate you like.)
Our newsletter comes out every 1 to 4 weeks. It will keep you informed and tell you what actions you can take to fight smart meters. Note that most email programs will filter out our newsletter unless you adjust your email settings. Even though you may receive individual emails from us, when we send the newsletter out to a large group, the emails may be placed in a folder other than your inbox. This happened to us! We weren’t even getting our own newsletter.. Please make sure you look for emails from smartmetereducationnetwork@ gmail. com in your Promotions, Spam, Junk, or other folders. Please contact your email provider to learn how to adjust your settings, or search on the internet.
Terms to Know
Advanced meter: smart meter (term used by DTE to hide the fact it is a smart meter).
AMI meter and AMI program: another name for the smart meter and the smart meter program. AMI stands for advanced metering infrastructure.
Blood-brain barrier: EMFs can cause the blood-brain barrier to be breached, allowing toxins to enter the brain. Toxin entry is thought to be partially responsible for Alzheimer’s, dementia, and Parkinson’s.
Dirty electricity: spiky, pulsed electromagnetic field generated by smart meters that rides through building wiring and permeates the building’s rooms. Responsible for many of the health problems seen with smart and digital meters.
Electromagnetic fields (EMFs): consist of an electrical field and a magnetic field. Fields are created by the flow of electrical current through the wire, sunlight, etc.
Electromagnetic frequency: examples are 60 Hz electrical current of your home, RF of a cell phone. Often used interchangeably with electromagnetic field.
Electromagnetic hypersensitivity (EHS): sensitivity to electromagnetic fields. Symptoms are complex and involve all bodily systems
Hydrogen bonds: Electrostatic bonds that help hold the DNA double helix together. Breakage of hydrogen bonds may cause changes in DNA that can lead to cancer. RF and other EMFs may disrupt the Hydrogen bonds.
Meter upgrade: the installation of an advanced (smart) meter on your home by DTE.
Microwave radiation: the type of radiation emitted by smart meters. Known to cause biological harm.
Non-transmitting meter: another name for the DTE and Consumers opt-out meters.
Opt-out meter: this is a smart meter. The only thing that is different is the radio-transmitter is turned off. It still generates dirty electricity, it still retains the two antennas, and it is only incrementally less harmful to your health. It can still record detailed information about your electrical usage.
Radio-disabled meter: another name for the DTE opt-out meter.
Radio-off meter: another name for the DTE opt-out meter.
Radiofrequency (RF): high-frequency electromagnetic waves in the range of 10 MHz to 300 Ghz. All wireless devices, including smart meters, cell phones, and Wi-Fi emit RF.
Switched mode power supply: contained in all smart meters, it creates dirty electricity.
van der Waals bonds: an extremely weak electromagnetic force that helps hold the DNA double helix together. Breakage of the van der Waals bond may cause changes in DNA that can lead to cancer. RF and other EMFs can disrupt the van der Waals bonds.