New electricity meters face opposition from both left and right

It is nice to see that even some on the left dislike this level of regulation. I assume that at some point these devices are going to be used to limit how much energy individual houses can use. The left though seems more concerned about what I would regard as somewhat wacky reasons for opposing the devices, the radio radiation that they give off.

Pacific Gas and Electric’s campaign to introduce wireless smart meters in Northern California is facing fierce opposition from an eclectic mix of Tea Party conservatives and left-leaning individualists.
In the San Francisco Bay Area, “Stop Smart Meters” signs and bumper stickers have been multiplying on front lawns and cars. Four protesters have been arrested for blocking trucks seeking to deliver the meters.
Since 2006, PG&E has installed more than seven million of the devices, which transmit real-time data on customers’ use of electricity.
But in Santa Cruz County, south of San Jose, the Board of Supervisors recently extended a yearlong moratorium on installations. Officials in Marin County, north of San Francisco, approved a ban this month on meters in unincorporated, largely rural areas, where about a quarter of its population lives. . . .
The new wave of protests comes from conservatives and individualists who view the monitoring of home appliances as a breach of privacy, as well as from a cadre of environmental health campaigners who see the meters’ radio-frequency radiation — like emissions from cellphones and other common devices — as a health threat.
Hypervigilance on health questions has long been typical of Bay Area residents; some local schools ban cupcakes or other sugared treats for classroom birthday celebrations in favor of more nutritious treats like crunchy seaweed snacks, for example.
The health concerns about the smart meters focus on the phenomenon known as “electromagnetic hypersensitivity,” or E.H.S., in which people claim that radiation from cellphones, WiFi systems or smart meters causes them to suffer dizziness, fatigue, headaches, sleeplessness or heart palpitations. . . .
The two most recent government reviews of available research found no link between health problems and common levels of electromagnetic radiation. Both reports indicated that more research would be welcome; on that basis, opponents say the meters should not be installed until they are proved safe. . . .
At a meeting of the North Bay Patriots this month, Jed Gladstein, a 64-year-old lawyer, called the devices “the sharp end of a very long spear pointed at your freedoms.” Others have raised concern about how the utility would use the information about individuals’ home appliance use. . . .

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