The Oklahoma City Republican submitted House Bill 2812 to allow low-power broadcast despite Federal Communications Commission authority effective Nov. 1.
The “Communications Freedom Act” would give stations that are not interfering with existing signals authority to broadcast without federal license.
“The Legislature of the State of Oklahoma declares that: A transmission of energy, communications or signals by radio originating inside the State of Oklahoma, that has not been proven and adjudicated by the Oklahoma court system or the Federal court system to specifically be causing, or to have caused quantifiable harm to, or interference with the transmission or reception of energy, communications or signals from: a.) within Oklahoma to any place beyond its borders. b.) any place beyond the borders of Oklahoma to any place within Oklahoma, or c.) or to places beyond the borders of Oklahoma; is not intended to be involved in interstate commerce.”
It specifies “a transmission of energy, communications or signals by radio” that is noncommercial is “not intended to be involved in interstate commerce” or is not meant to affect interstate commerce.
“How can the FCC regulate something under the interstate commerce clause (of the U.S. Constitution) when (low-power FM) is neither interstate nor commerce?” asked James Lane, an Oklahoma City-based activist with We Are Change Oklahoma.
Lane noted that low-power FM should be embraced by states and communities. A great example, he said, is the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina. New Orleans-area radio station crews left the area and low-power station personnel stayed behind to broadcast public service information.
“We’re making this an issue of standing up to the federal government which we believe is overstepping its Constitutional boundaries,” Lane said.
Key has supported other bills in the past, including one reaffirming the 10th Constitutional amendment reserving
to states and the people all powers not specifically delegated to the U.S. or prohibited to the states.
When contacted by Oklahoma Watchdog on Tuesday, Key said he suspects the federal government doesn’t like the “free speech aspect” of low-power FM radio and may view it as a threat.
“The federal government is out of control. It’s violated it’s role in regards to the Constitution. The government has become a predator of sorts and it’s become a law until itself.”
Key said the bill will go to the Rules committee first and then to the full House. Oklahoma Watchdog is looking to confirm if the bill has Senate support.
By Andrew W. Griffin
Oklahoma Watchdog, editor
Posted: January 27, 2010
Copyright 2010 Oklahoma Watchdog