OK-SAFE, Inc. Blog

July 22, 2014

Appeals Court Deals Major Blow to Affordable Care Act

OK-SAFE, Inc. – Some good news about the Unaffordable Care Act.

From the WSJ Blog 7/22/14:

Appeals Court Deals Major Blow to Affordable Care Actby Jacob Gershman

A federal appeals court on Tuesday dealt a serious blow to the Obama administration’s implementation of its signature health-care law, striking down subsidies available to some consumers who purchase health coverage on insurance exchanges set up by the federal government.

WSJ’s Brent Kendall has more on the breaking legal development out of Washington:

The U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit, on a 2-1 vote, invalidated an Internal Revenue Service regulation that implemented a key piece of the 2010 Affordable Care Act. The regulation said subsidies for health insurance were available to qualifying middle- and low-income consumers whether they bought coverage on a state exchange or one run by the federal government.

The ruling potentially could cripple the Affordable Care Act by making subsidies unavailable in as many as 36 states where the federal government has run some or all of the insurance exchanges.

The court sided with challengers, four individuals and three employers, who argued the health law allowed subsidies only for insurance purchases made through state exchanges. The issue became an important one after the law was enacted because more than two-thirds of the states chose not to set up their own exchanges, relying on federally run exchanges instead.

 

 

July 20, 2014

Urgent! Public Hearing on PSO Rate Increase Monday 7-21-14

OK-SAFE, Inc. – OK-SAFE joins the Tulsa 912 Project in their opposition to PSO’s proposed rate increase and smart meter rollout.

From the Tulsa912 Project:

564

Oklahoma Corporation Commission – Notice of Public Meeting

Oklahoma Corporation Commission has issued a “Notice of Public Meeting” to discuss PSO’s request for a rate adjustment in the amount of $24 million, for the purchase and installation of 520,000 wireless “Smart Meters.”

Meeting Information:
8:30 a.m., Monday, July 21
Room 301, Jim Thorpe Building, 2101 N Lincoln Blvd, Oklahoma City, Oklahoma 73105
Public comment will be permitted

Tulsa 9.12 Project is opposed to the rate hike for numerous reasons – health issues, privacy issues, safety issues as well as the burden of this rate increase and future increases on citizens on lower and fixed incomes.

If possible, we would like many people to attend Monday’s meeting. The more concerned citizens that are sitting in the gallery, the better. You don’t need to speak during public comment, we have people that are prepared to speak on the different issues we are opposed to.

If you can attend tomorrow’s meeting and would like to carpool/caravan with others from the Tulsa area we will be meeting at…

Reasor’s in Jenks
446 S Elm St, Jenks, OK 74037 map
6:30 a.m.
Monday, July 21, 2014

I apologize for the late notice.
Sincerely,
Ronda Vuillemont-Smith
Tulsa 912 Project

____________________________________

NOTE: Please call the OK Corporation Commission to voice your opposition to PSO’s rate increase and the smart meter rollout in their service area.

Phone: 405-521-4114

Email: j.palmer@occemail.com

 

June 19, 2014

AEP-PSO Reaches Settlement on Rate Increase?

Filed under: Smart Meters — Tags: , , , — oksafeinc @ 10:36 am

OK-SAFE, Inc. – What OK Corporation Commission staff is making deals with AEP-PSO ahead of the scheduled rate increase hearing, scheduled for June 25th in OKC?

On  Thursday, June 18, 2014 AEP-PSO issued a press release indicating a rate settlement agreement had been reached.  According to the Tulsa WorldTulsa-based American Electric Power-Public Service Co. of Oklahoma announced Wednesday that the agreement on a $24 million hike was reached, although it still needs final approval by the Corporation Commissioners. AEP-PSO originally sought a $45 million annual increase that could have raised bills about $4 monthly for most customers.”

AEP-PSO’s June 18th press release on this issue is full of spin.

The first sentence reads, “A settlement agreement in the Public Service Company of Oklahoma (PSO) rate case will allow the company to offer Advanced Metering Infrastructure (AMI) for all customers, providing new tools for customers to better manage energy bills.”

Saying PSO will “offer” Advanced Metering Infrastructure (AMI, aka smart meter) is like saying the Mafia offers protection services. “Take the offer or else…”.   People who have not accepted the utilities’ “offer” of a smart meter have been handcuffed, arrested, or had their power shut off.

New tools for customers?  That means the installation of a two-way communication device that identifies, monitors and reports what is happening in one’s home.  This means reporting what people in their homes are doing, and when; when they’re home, or  away.  Eventually moving to a time-of-day rating/billing system.  Have fun with that.

As for the savings advantages, the benefits are all on the side of the utility company.  Electric costs for the customer will go up.  And up. (This is what has happened when smart meters have been deployed. See here and here. And here.)  It is highly unlikely that customers will be able to reduce their energy usage enough to offset the rate increase.

 

News from AEP PSO

MEDIA CONTACT:

Stan Whiteford

Corporate Communications

(918) 599-2574

sawhiteford@aep.com

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

PSO Rate Agreement Allows Company to Offer Customers New Technology to Manage Energy Use

TULSA, Okla., June 18, 2014 – A settlement agreement in the Public Service Company of Oklahoma (PSO) rate case will allow the company to offer Advanced Metering Infrastructure (AMI) for all customers, providing new tools for customers to better manage energy bills.

PSO announced plans in November 2013 to begin full deployment of AMI across its 30,000 square-mile service territory, with the goal to replace more than 520,000 existing electric meters with new AMI meters by the fourth quarter of 2016.

Customers’ use of the new AMI rate plans and energy management information made possible with AMI will directly contribute to their level of savings to offset the cost of the new meters over time. In addition, customers’ quality of electric service will improve through enhanced outage restoration capability, electronic reading of meters, remote connections and disconnections, and virtual elimination of estimated meter readings.

If approved by the OCC, the settlement will result in a small increase for the costs associated with AMI deployment. The cost of AMI will be $3.11 per month for residential customers beginning with the first billing cycle of November 2014.”

End of release.

There is a public hearing on PSO’s proposed rate increase scheduled for Wednesday, June 25, 2014 in a court room at the Oklahoma Corporation Commission in Oklahoma City, 2101 N. Lincoln Blvd, in the Jim Thorpe building. The hearing is expected to run several days, if not longer.

June 18, 2014

Judge Swinton rules on Fallin Open Records case

Filed under: Exposing Health Care Reform — Tags: , , , , , — oksafeinc @ 12:37 am

OK-SAFE, Inc. – This is an update on the open records lawsuit filed against OK Gov. Fallin by The Lost Ogle and the ACLU. See our earlier post on this issue for background details.

Rather than ‘executive privilege’, “The court finds the deliberative process privilege thus may be used by the defendant to protect the content of documents withheld by the defendant.”

Royalty

From the Tulsa World, 6/17/14:

Judge rules Gov. Fallin can withhold documents on her ACA-Medicaid decision, by Barbara Hoberock

OKLAHOMA CITY — Gov. Mary Fallin has the power to withhold documents from the public based on a “deliberative process” privilege, a judge ruled Tuesday.

“The court finds the deliberative process privilege is recognized under common law in Oklahoma, and it is supported by Supreme Court rule as an exception to the Oklahoma Open Records Act,” the opinion by Oklahoma County District Judge Barbara Swinton states. “The court finds the deliberative process privilege thus may be used by the defendant to protect the content of documents withheld by the defendant.”

The opinion notes the purpose of the privilege “is to ensure that subordinates within an agency will (be able) to provide the decision maker with their uninhibited opinions and recommendations without fear of later being subjected to public ridicule or criticism.”  Rest here.

From News9, 6/17/14:

Oklahoma Judge Rules Governor Mary Fallin Can Withhold Documents

OKLAHOMA CITY –

An Oklahoma County judge has upheld Gov. Mary Fallin’s legal right to withhold documents requested by news organizations under Oklahoma’s Open Records Act.

District Judge Barbara Swinton handed down the ruling Tuesday in a lawsuit filed by the American Civil Liberties Union.

The lawsuit on behalf of the satirical news website The Lost Ogle was joined with several news organizations, including The Associated Press, in a request for documents related to Fallin’s decisions to reject a state health insurance exchange and to expand Medicaid coverage to thousands of low-income and uninsured Oklahomans. Rest here.

The Lost Ogle, 6/17/14, has a slightly different take on the judge’s decision:

The Judge Has Ruled in our Open Records Lawsuit…    by Patrick

Earlier today, Judge Swinton released her verdict in our Open Records lawsuit against Mary Fallin. Although we didn’t “win” the case, we didn’t necessarily “lose” it either….

1. The judge agreed with us that Mary Fallin doesn’t have the “executive privilege” to withhold the emails. That’s important

2. Deliberative Process Privilege is part of common law and comes with a catch. Judge Swinton ruled Mary Fallin has 20 days to produce a privilege log of the documents she wants to keep secret. In the log, only the content of the emails can be withheld. Basically, Fallin’s office has to put together the dates, sender, recipients of subject lines of all the secret emails. It’s a start.  Rest here.

The Lost Ogle goes on the say there is likely to be an appeal to the Supreme Court on this issue.

Good.

 

June 15, 2014

Oklahoma Judge to rule on Open Records Request

OK-SAFE, Inc. – (Background note: In mid-2010 former OK Governor Brad Henry signed the grant application for a $54 million Early Innovator grant to establish an insurance exchange in Oklahoma.  This exchange was a cornerstone of Obama Care.  In February 2011 Governor Mary Fallin accepted the grant money, after having won the 2010 election campaigning against Obama Care.

Public outrage and political push back followed.

In late April 2011 Fallin did an ‘about face’ and rejected the $54 million. Open records request by various news outlets sought the correspondence leading up to this decision.  In March 2013 Gov. Fallin’s office released 50,000 pages of documents. Missing were 100 pages of correspondence, held back claiming “executive privilege”.  The Lost Ogle and the ACLU then sued the Governor, seeking the missing documents.)

From FOI Oklahoma, June 13, 2014:

Ruling expected today on whether executive, deliberative process privileges allow Oklahoma governor to keep records secret

An Oklahoma County trial judge said Thursday she expects to rule “by the end of the week” on whether executive and deliberative process privileges permit Gov. Mary Fallin to keep records secret from the public.

Because Fallin is the first Oklahoma governor to claim these privileges, Oklahoma courts have never addressed the issue.

“I am just trying to find out how much authority I have out there to rely on,” District Judge Barbara Swinton told Fallin’s attorney during heard oral arguments Thursday.

The Lost Ogle and the ACLU of Oklahoma sued Fallin in April 2013 after she claimed these privileges allow her to keep secret 100 pages of advice from “senior executive branch officials” on the creation of a state health insurance exchange.

(Vandelay Entertainment LLC v. Fallin, Mary, No. CV-2013-763 (Okla. Co. April 9, 2013))

Fallin’s decision to reject Medicaid expansion funding affected about 250,000 Oklahomans.

The phrases “executive privilege” and “deliberate process privilege” do not exist in Oklahoma’s Constitution or in any Oklahoma statute.

Rest of post here.

We will post the judge’s decision when it becomes available.

 

June 7, 2014

Don’t Want a Smart Meter? Take Back Your Power – Screening Tues. 6/10/14

OK-SAFE, Inc. – Concerned about the PSO-AEP smart meter rollout in Oklahoma?  So are we.

There will be a showing of the award winning film Take Back Your Power on Tuesday, June 10, 2014, at the Hardesty Regional Library in Tulsa.  The screening begins at 6:30 pm and is free to the public.

Released nationally in 2013, the Take Back Your Power documentary film has won 3 awards, including the AwareGuide Transformational Film of the Year in 2013, and the Leo Award for Best Feature Length Documentary Program in 2014.  It was an official selection at the Berkshire International Film Festival, also this year.

TBYP Flyer

AEP-PSO announced late last year that they would be replacing their 520,000 analog meters with “advanced devices”, aka smart meters.  Work in Tulsa is scheduled to begin in 2015.

Sometimes call “spy meters” due to their inherent surveillance capabilities,  there is a growing body of evidence that exposure to these type of meters causes serious health issues. This, in addition to the concerns about the corresponding rate hikes wherever smart meters have been installed (here and here), is adding fuel to the fire of opposition to the whole smart meter/smart grid rollout.

The utility companies have consistently turned a deaf hear to these concerns. Utility giant AEP-PSO, (sensitive to the growing negative connotation of “smart meters” and “smart grid”?) calls their smart meters “advanced metering devices”. Instead Smart Grid, PSO calls their project the GridSMART project.  (Slick, right?)

Smart Meter

Invite your friends and neighbors to this showing.  An action plan will be presented at the end of the presentation.

 

 

 

 

 

June 5, 2014

Gov. Fallin Signs HB 3399 to Repeal and Replace Common Core

Filed under: Education — Tags: , , , , , — oksafeinc @ 8:22 pm

OK-SAFE, Inc. – OK Governor Mary Fallin today issued a press release, indicating she had finally signed HB 3399, the bill to repeal and replace the controversial Common Core state standards. 

Hopeful as this is, it must be remembered that Fallin is a professional politician, with strong ties to the NGA and the corporate world, both of which want Common Core adopted.  Those opposed to the Common Core state standards will need to remain vigilant, to make sure that the “replacement” standards are more substantial than just a name change.

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
June 5, 2014

Governor Mary Fallin Signs HB 3399 to Repeal and Replace Common Core Standards

New Standards will be developed in Oklahoma and Increase Academic Rigor

OKLAHOMA CITY—Governor Mary Fallin today signed HB 3399, a bill that replaces the Common Core State Standards (CCSS) in English and math with academic standards to be designed by the state of Oklahoma.

HB 3399 repeals the adoption of CCSS and directs the State Board of Education to create new, more rigorous standards by August 2016. For the first time in state history, the State Regents for Higher Education, the State Board of Career and Technology Education, and the Oklahoma Department of Commerce will be asked to formally evaluate those standards to determine they are “college and career ready.” While those new standards are being written, the state standards for English and math will revert to the Oklahoma Priority Academic Student Skills (PASS) standards used from 2003 to 2010.

HB 3399 passed with overwhelming bipartisan support in both chambers, 71-18 in the House and 31-10 in the Senate.

Fallin signed the bill, stating:

“We are capable of developing our own Oklahoma academic standards that will be better than Common Core. Now is the time for Oklahomans – parents, citizens, educators, employers and elected officials – to unite behind the common goal of improving our schools. That begins with doing the hard work of building new, more rigorous Oklahoma standards.

“All Oklahomans want our children to get a quality education and to live the American Dream. To ensure our children have that opportunity, Oklahoma – and every state—must raise the bar for education standards so that our children can compete worldwide.

“Common Core was created with that well-intentioned goal in mind. It was intended to develop a set of high standards in classrooms across the nation that would ensure children graduated from high school prepared for college and a career in an increasingly competitive workforce. It was originally designed as a state-lead – not federal – initiative that each state could choose to voluntarily adopt.

“Unfortunately, federal overreach has tainted Common Core. President Obama and Washington bureaucrats have usurped Common Core in an attempt to influence state education standards. The results are predictable. What should have been a bipartisan policy is now widely regarded as the president’s plan to establish federal control of curricula, testing and teaching strategies.

“We cannot ignore the widespread concern of citizens, parents, educators and legislators who have expressed fear that adopting Common Core gives up local control of Oklahoma’s public schools. The words ‘Common Core’ in Oklahoma are now so divisive that they have become a distraction that interferes with our mission of providing the best education possible for our children. If we are going to improve our standards in the classroom, now is the time to get to work.

“For that reason I am signing HB 3399 to repeal and replace Common Core with Oklahoma designed and implemented education standards. I am committed, now more than ever, to ensuring these standards are rigorous. They must raise the bar – beyond what Common Core offers – on what we expect of our students. Above all, they must be developed with the goal of teaching children to think critically and creatively and to complete high school with the knowledge they need to succeed in college and in the workforce. I also ‘get it’ that Oklahoma standards must be exceptional, so when businesses and military families move to Oklahoma they can rest assured knowing their children will get a great education.

“The process of developing new, higher standards will not take place overnight, nor will it be easy. It will require hard work and collaboration between parents, educators, employers and lawmakers. Developing these standards is worth the effort; because our children’s education is that important to our state. Their futures, as well as Oklahoma’s future prosperity, depend on our ability to write and implement education standards that will prepare our children for success. I know Oklahoma is up to that challenge.

“My thanks go out to the educators and schools that have already worked hard to raise expectations and standards for our children. I know they will continue to build on those efforts as we move forward together as a state.”

###
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June 2, 2014

UPDATED – Smart Grid: The Rest of the Story – Vicky Davis

UPDATE: OK-SAFE, Inc. – Researcher Vicky Davis has completed Part 10 of her series, Smart Grid: The Rest of the Story

Part 10, Global Power Shift, describes the functional realignment of the electric utilities, including the self-serving roles of the North American Electric Reliability Corporation (NERC), the Federal Energy Regulation Commission (FERC), and the utilities.

NERC FERC OEPI OERtorus

 

Excerpt:

“The Environmental Protection Agency, which I’m sure has a similar Torus structure, is closing down coal‐fired power plants based on their regulatory authority over air quality. They are creating the shortage of electricity, which will provide the racketeering power of extortion pricing to the utility sector. The Renewable Energy Certificate subsidy scam is a cover of sorts until the entire country is under the control of the smart grid and NERC.

The Smart Meter is the gateway to the home for the Smart Grid and the Regional Transmission Operators (RTOs). The objective, which is well documented, is “demand management”. Through the Smart Meter and Smart Grid capabilities, plus the appliance standards passed by the Congress in the Energy Independence and Security Act of 2007, the RTOs will have the capability for the Regional Transmission Operators to “shave the peak” – meaning to shut down your access to electricity entirely – or to selectively shut down your appliances including heating and cooling equipment.”

Link to updated 10-part series.  Link to Part 10.

Original post:

OK-SAFE, Inc. – Our friend Vicky Davis, a former computer Systems Analyst-turned researcher at Channeling Reality, has written a series of articles on the history and implementation of the global Smart Grid.

Entitled Smart Grid: The Rest of the Story, this 9-part series covers everything from the basics of how a smart meter’s 2-way communication system works, to an examination of the types of data collection systems involved and the how/why of “smart” appliances; from the efficiency movement to energy rate decoupling; and the origins of the concept of scarce energy.

Smart Meter

The series includes a brief look at the “who’s who” orchestrating the global smart grid roll out.

The series is a must-read for those with concerns about smart meters and global energy control.

Smart Grid: The Rest of the Story – by Vicky Davis.

Smart Grid Dot Gov

 

 

 

March 15, 2014

Day of Activism – Against Common Core! Monday, March 17th at the Capitol

Filed under: Education, Events, Lobbying — Tags: , , , — oksafeinc @ 2:00 pm

OK-SAFE, Inc. – From our friends at ROPE and across the state comes the call for a Day of Activism – Against Common Core at the OK state Capitol, on Monday, March 17, 2014.   The event runs from 11 am to 3 pm, with free T-shirts going to the first 300 people.

Common Core State Standards (which should really be called Bill Gates’ Common Core National Standards) are the Obama Care of education reform.  Opposition to these national standards is mounting across the country (see here, here, here, and here).  Oklahoma’s opposition, and high level research on the facts of the issue, has been led by ROPE, along with courageous moms, key educators, and some better-informed legislators.

Our good friends at the Tulsa912 Project say they will be heading to the Capitol Monday with “like-minded groups, parents and concerned citizens.  If you would like to carpool and caravan with others from the Tulsa area, we will meet at the Reasor’s in Jenks (446 S. Elm, Jenks, OK).  Departure will be promptly at 9 am.  If you have questions contact Peggy at plburgess.dbo@gmail.com”.

 

Common Core Day of Activism 3-17-14

February 14, 2014

Tell the House NO on SB 906 – National Popular Vote

Filed under: Constitution, Lobbying, Network — Tags: , , , , — oksafeinc @ 10:09 am

OK-SAFE, Inc. – Unbelievably, on Wednesday Oklahoma’s Senate passed a bill that moves this state toward voting for president by popular vote.

By most calculations, this means that those states with the highest concentration of urban dwellers would decide who is elected president, (like CA, IL, and NY).  Under this proposal, it looks like OK’s electors would have had to cast their vote for Barack Obama in the last election.

For this we needed Republicans?

Sen. Rob Johnson (rumored to be angling for another job), authored SB 906, which states, “Pursuant to terms and conditions of this act, the State of Oklahoma seeks to join with other states and establish the Agreement Among the States to Elect the President by National Popular Vote.”

SB 906 passed the Senate on 2/12/14 by a vote of 28-18 and is now in the House.

Part of a nation-wide effort this model legislation has passed in 9 states – all progressive “blue” states, like CA, WA, and IL, as of July 2013.

From Wikipedia:

The National Popular Vote Interstate Compact (NPVIC) is an agreement among various states and the District of Columbia to replace their current rules regarding the apportionment of presidential electors with rules guaranteeing the election of the candidate with the most popular votes in all fifty states and the District of Columbia. Coming in the form of an interstate compact, the agreement goes into effect once law in states that together have an absolute majority of votes (at least 270) in the Electoral College. In the next presidential election, those states would award all their electoral votes to the national popular vote winner, who would become President by winning a majority of votes in the Electoral College. Until the compact’s conditions are met, all states will award electoral votes in their current manner.

As of July 2013, the compact had been joined by nine states and the District of Columbia (see map). Their 136 combined electoral votes amount to 25% of the Electoral College, and 50% of the 270 votes needed for the compact to go into effect.

Cartogram_NPVIC_Current_Status.svg

More here, including debates on the issue and a map of states, and at the National Popular Vote website.

SB 906 will be assigned to a House Committee (unknown as of this date). Please contact your House members and ask them to vote NO on SB 906.

House Speaker Jeff Hickman: (405) 557-7339  Email:  jwhickman@okhouse.gov

Speaker Pro Tem Mike Jackson: (405) 557-7317   Email: mikejackson@okhouse.gov

Floor Leader Pam Peterson:  (405) 557-7341   Email: pampeterson@okhouse.gov

List of House members here.

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