Safe Utility Meters Alliance Northwest (educating people about so called ‘smart’ meters)
The ACLU of Washington is raising significant concerns about the lack of protections for privacy, as well as lack of transparency, in the implementation of Seattle City Light’s Advanced Metering Infrastructure. The project involves installation of smart meters which gather data that can reveal intimate details about what is going on inside a person’s home. Yet there are no clear and explicit checks and balances to restrict the government or third parties from using or selling smart meter data for purposes unrelated to the provision of electricity, and the City’s Privacy Impact Assessment for the project is unclear and inadequate.
“The new smart meters collect much more detailed data and do so more frequently than City Light’s previous electrical meters. But the project fails to comply with the principles of the Seattle’s Privacy Program, and there is no meaningful opportunity for the individuals to offer informed consent,” said Shankar Narayan, ACLU of Washington Technology and Liberty Director.
In a letter to the Seattle City Council, the ACLU urged the City to adopt clear and binding guidelines around what data smart meters collect, who accesses the data, what the data can and cannot be used for, and what informed consent must be given before the meters are deployed. The ACLU points out that the option to opt-out offered by the City currently is inadequate, meaningless, and expensive. Under the City’s plan, third parties will be accessing this sensitive data, and those third parties should be bound not to sell the data or use it for unrelated purposes.
Opting out will cost an individual $124.43 as a one-time “administrative fee,” plus $15.87 per billing cycle. “Exercising one’s right to opt out shouldn’t mean opting in to excessively costly fees,” said Shankar Narayan.
Target: President Donald Trump
The state of our country’s infrastructure — roads, bridges, school buildings, water systems, mass transit systems, access to high-speed broadband and more — is so bad, that it’s received a nearly failing grade of D+ from the American Society of Civil Engineers.
Moreover, we need a massive investment in solar and wind power, energy efficiency and other clean energy solutions to slash the use of fossil fuels and fight global climate change.
Rebuilding and investing in infrastructure and protecting our climate for future generations will create millions of good-paying jobs, provide much more livable communities and save the planet. But, we can’t nickel and dime our way toward a solution.
Recently, President Trump and Democratic leaders in Congress agreed that a $2 trillion investment in infrastructure is urgently needed. Democrats challenged President Trump to say how he would pay for it at their next meeting on May 21. Here are just a few options based on making the rich and corporations pay their fair share:
- Repeal those parts of the Trump-GOP tax giveaway that benefit the wealthy and corporations to raise more than $2 trillion.
- Assess a small tax on people with extraordinary wealth above $50 million to raise $2.75 trillion, as proposed by Senator Elizabeth Warren.
- Tax wealth more like work — so the tax rate paid by the rich on their income from investments matches the much higher tax rate paid on wages and salaries — to raise more than $2 trillion.
- Close corporate tax loopholes and subsidies — such as those received by the fossil fuel industry — to raise at least $1 trillion.
We’ve seen time and again how Trump and the GOP support Wall Street and wealthy donors over working families when it comes to major legislation such as health care and tax cuts. We can’t let them get away with it again. We need to make sure Trump does not pay for an infrastructure plan by requiring working families to pick up the tab, and that the $2 trillion plan supports major investments in clean energy technology and green jobs to fight global climate change. Join our national mobilization and sign the petition today!
The climate is in breakdown. Corporate polluters turn communities of color into graveyards. Meanwhile, those in power do nothing but fan the flames. We refuse to stand by while more people die. The time to act for climate justice is now.
President Trump relishes his massive giveaways to the fossil fuel industry. Want a pipeline, he says? Here you go! Tax cuts for your shareholders? Be my guest! Need to pollute? We’ll look the other way!
People’s Action is doubling down: There’s no time to wait. We came to Washington two weeks ago in force and took over the Environmental Protection Agency plaza, where we told EPA chief Andrew Wheeler, a former coal lobbyist, to stop promoting polluters and start protecting people.
Nearly a thousand People’s Action leaders came to the EPA from across the country to raise their voices and fists in protest. Dozens of EPA workers came down to listen and stand with us, too.
“Stop killing us!” said Emily Teranna from Buffalo, New York, leading the crowd. Rev Tony Pierce whose Peoria, Illinois neighborhood has been poisoned by pollution from the Edwards Coal Plant, also spoke. Then more people started sharing their experiences.
People’s Action groups from Minnesota to Idaho are also fighting dark-money groups who want to criminalize protests like the one we held in D.C., and strip us of our freedom of speech.
Thank you for all that you do,
Ben and everyone at People’s Action