Colin McEnroe Show: Esty Admits Mistakes, Outlines Future Policies

For years, Dan Esty was a teacher. Now, he says he's a student.

DEEP Commissioner Dan Esty
Photo:Chion Wolf
Colin McEnroe Show: Esty Admits Mistakes, Outlines Future Policies
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Colin McEnroe Show: Esty Admits Mistakes, Outlines Future Policies

What a bumpy ride it has been for Connecticut new environment and energy commissioner Dan Esty.

Esty blew into office looking like a natural fit with the administration of Jed Bartlett on West Wing. He was exactly the kind of quick-witted, telegenic, academically certified office-holder that Aaron Sorkin tended to craft for "the West Wing."

Nine months later, Esty is struggling to beat back headlines about a couple of controversial interventions and his failure to intervene in an equally controversial land swap.

He began by setting the ethics bar higher than is customary for Connecticut officials. He now finds himself flailing in a pond of questions about how his past business associations affect his conduct in office. Esty outlines his future plans and admits some of his mistakes on today's show.

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Smart Grids

For the good of the state and its citizens, DEEP Commissioner Dan Esty should back away from pushing smart grids/meters. See for more information. This is a dangerous, ineffective, and ill-conceived notion of how to save energy. Citizens in California, Maine, Illinois, Texas, Florida, Arizona and New Mexico, among others are mounting oppostion based on health, environmental, national security, privacy, and safety concerns. People are being made ill from radiofrequency peak pulsing when smart meters are attached to homes. Brief peak exposures may exceed FCC RF standards, which are time-averaged over 30 minutes. Numerous fires have been started from smart meters. They are easily hacked into, potentially endangering the entire national utility grid. They also report realtime energy use and therefore indicate when people are -- or are not -- home, among many other concerns. In addition, they do not save energy but rather increase energy comsumption when "vampire" use is taken into consideration from 2-way radio systems that are constantly "on," and when the enormous data storage requirements are factored in. They also will permanently displace meter readers and thereby kill humdreds of thousands of jobs. And tiered pricing (with different energy rates at different times of day) will penalize the elderly, self-employed, unemployed and stay-at-home parents. The entire smart grid idea was ill-conceived, with promises that have yet to materialze, and was fueled by stimulus money through the Department of Energy. Some of the biggest corporate players, like GE and Siemens, are the primary benefactors of taxpayer dollars. Even Wall Street now says that smart grids will be bad investments when the stimulus dollars dry up. Utility rates have been known to triple when smart meters are installed and there is enormous cost-shifting onto ratepayers for that portion not funded by the feds. For the sake of us all, let's go back to the drawing board on this. For realtime energy information, simple devices can be attached to common electical outlets. For metering information, that can accomplished through landline phone wires or fiber optic cable -- both much safer environmental technologies. There are ways to accomplish some of the upside aims of smart grids, but not as currently designed.
B. Blake Levitt, author, Electromagnetic Fields -- A Consumer's Guide...