Sunday, February 22, 2015

Justice Denied in DTE Opt-Out Case

The Michigan Court of Appeals decision on Thursday regarding the DTE opt-out is disappointing but
not unexpected. In a decision that defies common sense and a clear reading of the law, the Court of Appeals ruled that DTE gets to keep installing its “opt-out” meter. Linda Kurtz, Cynthia Edwards, and Leslie Panzica-Glapa’s main argument was that in order to charge customers a fee for opting out, there must be a benefit of the opt-out to the customer. Basically, what the court ruled is that DTE doesn’t need to show a single benefit to the opt-out. In other words, DTE can set up any kind of progam it likes; if you are foolish enough to sign up for such a program, then DTE gets your money, although you receive no benefit. We also argued that the opt-out mandates smart meters, and cannot do so. The court refused to accept this argument, and others, as well. You can read a synopsis of our arguments  here. You can read the court’s decision here. What a sorry piece of judicial work! Shallow, sloppy, a regurgitation of DTE’s arguments.

Even if we had won, the court would have remanded the case back to the Michigan Public Service Commission, where the chance of prevailing would have been slight. That is the sad reality of a corrupt system. So, while I felt, and communicated to all of you that our arguments were very good (and they were), a corrupt system decided to ignore them. It is and always has been my firm belief that we are going to win through
Grassroots Resistance!
When I got the news on Thursday that we had lost the case, I was neither saddened nor frightened. I just saw it as business as usual, and continued to work on the tasks we have set forth for ourselves to win this fight!

What Does This Mean for Us?
We keep resisting. As you probably know well, California won its analog opt-out because people refused to be cowed by the corrupt corporations and the government that is in bed with them. Refuse, Resist, Fight Back! Never Back Down! If everyone stands strong and together, we will win. They won in California. So will we!

You keep saying the same thing to DTE when they knock on your door: “I refuse installation.” Remember, DTE cannot cut off your power unless they give you 10 days written notice.

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