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At least one group of Texans celebrated after an influential political figure reached out to help in their battle against smart meters last week.

In a letter dated Sept. 25, Lt. Gov. David Dewhurst directed the Texas Senate Committee on Business and Commerce to conduct a study of possible harmful effects on health stemming from the installation of smart electric meters. He added that, if necessary, an independent study should be commissioned to resolve the concerns.

“Texas is experiencing rapid growth….With this growth comes the need for additional power and a secure, stable power grid,” wrote Dewhurst. “However, we must ensure that business practices do not jeopardize the health of Texans."

Texans United against Smart Meters (TUASM), a network of citizens across Texas who have compiled data on the various dangers associated with smart meters, has been pushing for such action for years.

At a meeting on Aug. 21, a steering committee representing TUASM presented Dewhurst their evidence of health problems, fire hazards, and privacy issues involving the meters.

At their meeting, TUASM asked for an interim charge from the lieutenant governor establishing a moratorium on the deployment of smart meters until a study regarding health hazards, safety issues and potential privacy violations could be completed.

While the letter makes no mention of a moratorium, it does satisfy the group’s request of conducting an independent study.

“We want to thank Lt. Gov. Dewhurst for stepping up to the plate on this crucial issue” reported TUASM on their website.

The end goal of TUASM is to have smart meters removed from homes and replaced by the previous analog meters which require meter readers to visit each home to record electricity usage.

The meter uses a radio transmitter to send electricity usage data to the utility company. This raises concerns of privacy, health, and even security among TUASM members.

Acting in response to the Dewhurst letter, the committee chairman, State Sen. John J. Carona, set a hearing before the Committee on Business and Commerce for Oct. 9. The hearing will be held at 10:00 a.m. in the Capitol Extension, Room E1.016 of the state capitol building. The hearing is open to the public and will be streamed live online.
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