In the energy industry, no question defies resolution more than electromagnetic fields (EMF).
The Edison Electric Institute (EEI) reported in late December that electric utilities have contributed close to $80 million for EMF research since the early 1970s. And new efforts are taking shape. Spurred by section 2118 of the Energy Policy Act of 1992, the Department of Energy will administer a new study-RAPID (Research and Public Information Dissemination Program)-a five-year $65-million federal interagency project, for which Congress has already appropriated $8 million. EEI member companies reportedly will contribute $4 million to RAPID for fiscal year 1995, up from $3.2 million for FY `94.
But EMF claims still crop up from odd angles.
Out in the Midwest, the Wisconsin Public Service Commission is taking comments in its electric restructuring docket, which may rival California's Blue Book and New York's Competitive Opportunities dockets in scope and potential for upheaval. Among other ideas, the Wisconsin PSC will likely consider whether to scrap its Advance Plan dockets on electric resource planning, or to mandate a vertical disaggregation of the electric utility industry in that state. You might think you've heard it all on vertical breakups (spinning off generation, transmission-you name it). Think again. Our sources tell us that out in Wisconsin, a physicist has submitted comments in both the electric restructuring (05-EI-114) and Advance Plan 7 (05-EP-7) dockets, claiming that vertical disaggregation in the electric industry could actually increase health dangers posed by EMF.