- On June 27, 2011, CBS News reported: "A yearlong
experiment with America's electric grid could mess up traffic lights, security
systems and some computers and make plug-in clocks and appliances like
programmable coffeemakers run up to 20 minutes fast..."  CBS
News also reported that: "Tom O'Brian, who heads the time
and frequency division at the National Institute of Standards and Technology,
expects widespread (unspecified) effects..." .
- The CBS report did not specify who approved this test. This
test will begin without public consent, substantial public notice or public
debate in mid-July 2011 . This test could disrupt so many
businesses, state and local governments, and other government agencies,
that it could quickly become a National Security nightmare and a massive
- "A lot of people are going to have things break
and they're not going to know why," said Demetrios Matsakis, head
of the time service department at the U.S. Naval Observatory, one of two
official timekeeping agencies in the federal governmentThis will be an
interesting experiment to see how dependent our timekeeping is on the power
grid, Matsakis said. [1-2].
- According to CBS News, "The North American Electric
Reliability Corporation (NERC), runs the nation's interlocking web of transmission
lines and power plants and they will be conducting the tests" [1,
3]. Will this company be liable for appliance replacement and
other costs associated with these tests?
- The disruptions from these tests may have the following
consequences according to various news reports:
- 1) CBS
News Reports: "The group that oversees the U.S. power grid
(NERC), is proposing an experiment that would allow more frequency variation
than it does now without (time) corrections, according to a company presentation
obtained by The Associated Press... "Is anyone using the grid to keep
track of time?...McClelland said. "Let's see if anyone complains if
we eliminate it." No one is sure what will be affected"  This
appears to be an experiment to permanently eliminate time corrections.
- 2) CBS
News: "A June 14 company presentation spelled out the potential
effects of the change: East Coast clocks may run as much as
20 minutes fast over a year, but West Coast clocks are only likely to be
off by 8 minutes. In Texas, it's only an expected speedup of 2 minutes.
Some parts of the grid, like in the East, tend to run faster than others.
Errors add up. If the grid averages just over 60 cycles a second, clocks
that rely on the grid will gain 14 seconds per day, according to the company's
presentation" This could mean that your clocks and other
appliances plugged into the electricity grid, will no longer
be accurate while the tests are being conducted for at least one year.
- 3) Time
Disruptions - How will people who don't have Internet or Cell Phone access
be able to get the correct time since telephone companies don't offer this
service anymore? This company presumes to believe that everyone
has access to the Internet and will have instant correct timethis is not
- 4) Appliances,
cooking timers, SMART Meters, clocks, and other items that are time sensitive
could be disrupted or completely fail.
- 5) The
article does not address problems that may occur in hospitals, during surgeries,
when using time sensitive equipment. This type of equipment
may be highly sensitive to time variations. Other industries
and businesses may also have problems and may have to make many costly
adjustments. Who will pay these costs?
- 6) CBS
News: "Spokeswoman Kimberly Mielcarek said the company
is still discussing the test and gauging reactions to its proposal, and
may delay the experiment a bit"  This company has no
idea what problems these tests will have on the public and our electric
grid. It is just an experiment and they are taking no financial
responsibility for the consequences if these tests have negative, unknown
- 7) These
tests are to last one year. This seems like a long time to conduct
these tests. This company should be able to conduct small tests
over limited areas in order to perform the same type of testing. And
this should be heavily reviewed and studied in advance of any testing.
- 8) If
the federal government provides the time, via telephone, the location and
number were not noted in the CBS article.
- The public should not have to rely on leaving our computers
and cell phones, using extra electricity, just to make sure that we have
the correct time. And we have no idea if our computers and other
gadgets will work while these tests are being conducted.
- If our appliances and other equipment break because of
these grid experiments who is going to pay our costs? If
these tests cost local, city, and county governments money to respond to
problems associated with these tests, who pay the costs of fixing or repairing
- There needs to be congressional hearings and a public
debate before these tests are approved. To be at the mercy of
a private company, that has decided on a "whim", and without
any idea of the problems and consequences that their power grid tests will
cause, is unthinkable at this time.
- Stop the Tests, Let the Public Debate Begin, and Contact
your Elected Officials and let them know that you expect that they will
take action to protect the public interest. We need a comprehensive
investigation prior to any experiments being initiated. End
- 1, CBS
News June 27, 2011
- 2, Precise
Time-U.S. Naval Observatory http://www.usno.navy.mil/USNO
- The United States Naval Observatory (USNO) provides a
wide range of astronomical data and products, and serves as the official
source of time for the U.S. Department of Defense and a standard of time
for the entire United States.
- 3, The
North American Reliability Electric Corporation will be conducting this
- Website: http://www.nerc.com/
- 4, For
more Information on the Smart Meter Rebellion and Hazards
- 5, For
more Information on the Health Hazards from Energy Efficient Light Bulbs
EPA Hazmat Warnings for Home Breakage and Disposal