FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: July 21, 2014

TULSA 9.12 PROJECT OPPOSES PSO RATE HIKE

Tulsa, OK, July 21, 2014– Public Service Company of Oklahoma is asking the Oklahoma Corporation Commission to approve a $24 million dollar rate increase for the deployment of 522,000 wireless “Smart Meters” to replace our current analog meters.  Smart Meters are wireless devices with a two-way transmission, relaying the information to Public Service Company of Oklahoma (PSO), for billing and monitoring purposes.  What PSO and The Oklahoma Corporation Commission is not making public at this time, is the total cost will be $130 million dollars.  Once all the meters are in place, they will be back for the approval of the $107 million balance.  Tulsa 9.12 Project stands in opposition to the PSO request for a rate hike and the deployment of Smart Meters.

“There are numerous issues associated with Smart Meters,” states Ronda Vuillemont-Smith, president of Tulsa 9.12 Project, “such as the added cost to the consumer for the purchase and installation of the meters, privacy issues of data collection shared with the laboratory for the Department of Energy and Homeland Security and sale to third parties,  as well as health issues.”  If approved, “Smart Meters” will blanket 30,000 square miles of Oklahoma with pulsing non-ionizing radiation (a class 2B Carcinogen).  The unsuspecting public will be radiated 24 hours a day by a wireless technology that can neither be seen nor heard.  There are 3 cases currently before the Oklahoma Corporation Commission due to severe health effects associated with AMI (Smart Meters).  The Utilities have refused to remove the meters from the residences although evidence and science support the plaintiffs’ cases, that the meters are causing serious health issues.  “As more people associate their failing health to Smart Meters there will be more lawsuits resulting in greater costs to the citizens and businesses of Oklahoma,” adds Vuillemont-Smith.

OK-SAFE, Inc., another local grassroots organization, joins Tulsa 9.12 Project in their opposition to the PSO rate hike.  Amanda Teegarden, executive director of OK-SAFE, Inc. comments “OK-SAFE opposes PSO’s proposed rate increase, and the related rollout of AMI (smart meters) in their service area. Having followed this issue for a while now, we have come to believe that  PSO is willfully and intentionally disregarding the public’s legitimate privacy, health and cost concerns associated with the installation of these types of meters.  We strenuously oppose this rollout.

Further, we ask the legislature to issue a moratorium on the installation of any more AMI meters until expert testimony on the risks and costs has been made public.”

Tulsa 9.12 further believes Corporation Commissioner Patrice Douglas, candidate for U.S. Congress, should recuse herself from voting on the PSO rate case.  Douglas has accepted campaign contributions from several utility companies, including PSO, leading to possible conflict of interest and bias in the PSO rate case.

Tulsa 9.12 Project and OK-SAFE, Inc., believe our elected officials of the Oklahoma Corporation Commission and the Attorney General’s Office have a duty to protect the Health and Privacy of the citizens of Oklahoma.

The next public hearing on the PSO rate hike is scheduled for Monday, July, 21, 2014, at 8:30 am in Court Rm 3 at the OK Corp. Commission offices in OKC.

If you cannot attend in person, please call the Oklahoma Corporation Commission at 405-521-4114 and state your opposition to rate increase, and the smart meters. They are counting the calls.

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