Texans are violently against smart meters

Smart meter installations stir rowdy response from gun-toting, cage-building Texans.

A nationwide effort to upgrade local power systems with modern equipment has run into growing resistance in Texas, where suspicion of government and fear of electronic snooping have made a humble household device the center of a politically charged showdown over personal liberty.

Some angry residents are building steel cages around their electric meters, threatening installers who show up with new ones and brandishing Texas flags at boisterous hearings about the utility conversion. At a recent hearing at the state Capitol in Austin, protesters insisted everyone present recite the Pledge of Allegiance before the meeting could begin.

“It’s Gestapo. You can’t do this,” said Shar Wall of Houston, who attended the Public Utility Commission meeting wearing a large red “Texas Conservative” pin. “I’m a redneck Texas girl and I won’t put up with it.”

The conversion has triggered opposition in a number of states. Some residents have questioned the health impact of the radio waves the devices emit or the possibility that hackers could get confidential data from the transmissions.

However, the Federal Communications Commission has rated the smart meters as safe, saying they are considered unlikely to cause bodily tissue heating or electric shock. The radio frequency radiation levels are much lower than those emitted by cellphones, supporters say.

Tip: Fark.com

It seems this is much more about wanting individual freedom and not wanting any government interference rather than the actual meters themselves and their supposed health hazards, as these new smart meters would actually benefit these people in saving money on electricity bills.

Add in a good old-fashioned big brother like conspiracy theory about surveillance and you got a catchy story to get people on your side.

  9 comments for “Texans are violently against smart meters

  1. Sam
    August 26, 2012 at 5:57 PM

    Doesn’t surprise me from a state who’s Governor said Texas Could Secede, Leave Union & then tried to run for president of said Union,
    Just more tea party nonsense

  2. Xenolan
    August 26, 2012 at 6:10 PM

    I used to work for a large water company in Texas. There have been smart WATER meters installed all over the state for years. I can’t help but wonder whether many of the people who are protesting against the smart electricity meters already have a similar device keeping track of their water usage.

  3. Jack
    August 26, 2012 at 6:38 PM

    WOW, I bet these are the same folks who think fluoridation of the water supply is a communist plot to destroy America and that the Govt is spraying “Chem Trails” in the upper atmosphere to make us docile sheep for the takeover by the UN. The sad thing is that they are talking to each other over CELLPHONES and posting on the INTERNET on PCs and warming their coffee up in microwaves that emit as much if not more than the smart meters. This would really be a case of Smart Meters for dumb people. We’re seeing the new Luddites of this century.

  4. One Eyed Jack
    August 27, 2012 at 7:35 AM

    Simple solution. Disconnect the protesters from public utilities. This isn’t some sort of punishment or reprisal. It’s for their own safety. The people have spoken and we have heard.

  5. August 27, 2012 at 8:42 AM

    Its not really the meters the Texans are against. They oppose anything smart.

  6. Geoff
    August 27, 2012 at 2:39 PM


  7. Tom
    August 27, 2012 at 2:55 PM

    Who is winding these people up? These movements seem not to be grassroots anymore. I concede that this line of questioning might degenerate into another conspiracy theory, so I’ll leave it at that.

    Ps: I know lots of intelligent people from Texas.

  8. August 27, 2012 at 3:57 PM

    Alex Jones, Glenn Beck, and others playing into a largely (though not exclusively) white, ultra social conservative, populist movement.

    And as they do, we’ll see more of this http://www.theatlanticwire.com/national/2012/08/prosecutors-us-soldiers-plotted-kill-president-obama/56238/

  9. GaryACrowellSr
    August 27, 2012 at 5:13 PM

    There is a legitimate complaint that the meter installations are starting a lot of fires. But that isn’t the fault of the smart meters – it’s plugging them into the old meter bases, disturbing the old wiring and breaking the brittle contacts, that’s causing the problem. The clowns are complaining about the smart meters and completely missing the real issue.

    I strongly suspect that the new meter installations have probably prevented more fires than they have caused. Opening up and having someone actually look at a component of the home electrical system that is rarely seen is a GOOD thing. The real problem occurs when an incompetent installer doesn’t properly inspect the meter base, and that is what they should be complaining about.

    Of course when an installer finds a hazardous meter base, potentially saving the home from a future fire, and can’t install the new meter or reinstall the old one, until the homeowner has his wiring repaired, they complain about that too.

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