Remarks by Camilla Rees, MBA at Commonwealth Club of California, “The High Road to a True Smart Grid” 1/28/14

Below please find the the transcript and audio of Camilla Rees’ remarks from the January 28, 2014 panel “The High Road to a True Smart Grid,” held at the Commonwealth Club of California.

Click Here for Audio of Camilla Rees’ Remarks

“The High Road to a True Smart Grid”
Introductory Remarks by Camilla Rees
January 28, 2014


It’s great to be here. Thank you, Bill. Thanks to the Commonwealth Club. And greetings to all of you here!

A wonderful process of collaboration has brought our panel here today and I am honored to be moderating this program of extraordinary independent minds from several different disciplines, addressing one of the most important issues of the day with ramifications for all of our lives—including our environment, the economy, our security, health, privacy and pocketbooks.

Not all problems in life are what they seem. In fact, a given problem may not be the real problem at all, but a downstream effect of something somewhere else that is not in integrity. Not considering the whole. Excluding things of importance. Or out of alignment with the intrinsic harmony in the natural world in which we are all privileged to be a part.

We see this all the time in so many areas in our society today. Including with the greatly under-accounted for externalities of extractive-based energy industries.

So, I was not at all surprised when my friend and colleague, Duncan Campbell, told me the wireless utility meters that health activists have been up in arms about, and fighting to have removed from homes, actually do not create the energy efficiencies claimed.

That the smart meter roll out has been a downstream effect of decision-making processes without integrity many levels up.

As you will hear today, and as was described in the white paper, “Getting Smarter About the Smart Grid”, published by Jim Turner’s organization, NISLAPP, and written by Dr. Tim Schoechle, the meters have nothing to do with sustainability.

The meters drive up costs, introduce many unnecessary, significant risks, and divert financial and technical resources needed to create a truly wise grid—one where we step into our potential for unlimited, inexpensive renewable energy abundance and where the public is not just a buyer of energy but a producer of energy and possibly a beneficiary of additional wealth created by selling excess energy into a local market, as is beginning to very successfully happen in some other countries.

Simply put, governments and ratepayers across this country have somehow been misled that meters have to do with sustainability. And this is why we’re here at the Commonwealth Club today! Ironically, some of the misleading is being done by environmental organizations.

So the rebellion against meters, I came to see, is the tip of the iceberg. And a very important subject, especially for the people being harmed by the radiation. But the bigger issue that we hope you’ll see today is that we’re unable to seriously embrace renewables in this country at this time, and there will be significant consequences.

We’re propping up a failing centralized utility model with purchases like these meters, and need to change course now to allow the rooftop revolution to begin in seriousness on our soil.

This was a stunning realization. And suddenly, with confirmation from Dr. Tim Schoechle, an expert in smart grid and home automation technologies, whom Duncan introduced me to, it all became clear how it could have come to pass that billions and billions of dollars have been entirely wasted, and spent in a manner that jeopardizes our people and our future.

There was a very important reason that the meters had been bought—for the utilities.

It became clear that there are disincentives in the investor owned utility business model in this country preventing us from embracing renewables. A rooftop revolution would simply destroy the companies that now supply the majority of electricity in the U.S.–and, these are the low volatility stocks older people rely on.

But what about our interest in reducing global warming?

Or our nation’s desire to become energy independent?

Or the possibility of becoming sustainable?

Investor owned utilities are incentivized to keep energy usage high and to spend on anything except that which would lower demand for their energy!

This is where the integrity problem is and it explains why this industry appears not to be concerned about the secondary effects of smart meters. They simply have to spend on something to keep their obsolete business model viable. They are focused on survival and—bless them—they haven’t quite figured out how to yield to the political, social, economic and technological forces of the day that will certainly in time replace them if they do not transform themselves into something where they do not base their success on selling kilowatt hours.

So with the help of Dr. Schoechle and Duncan Campbell, the National Institute for Science, Law & Public Policy published “Getting Smarter About the Smart Grid”, written by Dr. Schoechle, to document with extensive references what is going on. And we’re here today to talk about it, with the addition of the medical and technical expertise of Dr. Karl Maret and the legal and regulatory expertise of Jim Turner, Esq.

We are at an extraordinary transition point in our nation, and the majority of the public has no idea about it.

The 130-year old electricity grid needs a multi-trillion dollar upgrade. How this is carried out will shape the future of our country.

The choices made will determine:


  • Whether electricity is expensive or inexpensive for us
  • How reliable, secure and safe the grid is
  • Whether the U.S. can achieve energy independence from foreign oil
  • Whether U.S. industries will be able to financially compete in international markets, and sell their goods, supporting jobs domestically
  • It will impact the degree of privacy we retain about our lives-in our own homes
  • Whether we can address climate change caused by fossil fuels, and, importantly,
  • Whether we can shape our society with life-affirming, citizen-empowering and democratic values, where intelligence and innovation and creativity are thriving at the periphery, not stifled at the center

What’s been going on is far worse than ‘greenwashing’ about meters—it’s been stubborn interference with the critically important need for evolution in this sector. Interference, perhaps inadvertently, but very significantly, enabled by federal stimulus funding.

I hope today’s program inspires you to see that we must address this problem, and to see the transformation of the electricity sector as a subject that very much deserves our attention in local communities throughout this nation.

If we come into integrity in the way we are going about redefining the electrical grid, looking at the problem and objectives as a whole, the good news is we can with certainty I am told solve the current privacy, health and security concerns with already existing and recently developed technology.

The problem is one of politics and will, and we’re so glad you are here today to engage with us on this issue.

And now on with the program!

Our first speaker is Duncan Campbell, Esq., a new energy visionary, entrepreneurial lawyer, Boulder, CO’s leading radio host, and author of the white paper “New Energy for a New World” for two Democratic Presidential Campaigns….

Download Introductory Remarks by Camilla Rees (PDF) Here

Click Here for Audio of Camilla Rees’ Remarks

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