If smart meters from elsewhere, monitored by elsewhere, to profit elsewhere are coming here then we want some here-ness: we want the information to be open. Therefore we can make decisions about how our communities manage their energy, not to make sense to energy companies but to make sense for how to build beautifully efficient communities. All energy going to heat? Are our houses in need of a tune up? What is our town energy use profile? Our community can lump its energy information together and bargain together. For every dollar we spend on smart-meters we need to spend one dollar on local information analysis. Information managed through energy companies eyes in the name of community will build communities that reflect the values of those energy companies. And right now, if we let them, those values would almost be entirely elsewhere-based.
As for the pipeline: we need dollar for dollar of elsewhere-ness to here-ness. For every dollar of pipeline we spend, land taken for example, we want that much to support community exploration of energy. The community motoring will let us know what energy is falling through the cracks and this funding will let us know how we can grow local energy. The pipeline is a temporary fix. The future is a beautiful network of independent communities. We'll get here(ness) if we make our sacrifices, like pipelines and smart meters from elsewhere, work to strengthen our community.