Wisconsin Power Line Health Concerns


19 October, 2000

-------- Original Message --------
Subject: Wisconsin Power line draws health concerns (Raunio)....
Date: Tue, 17 Oct 2000 11:52:32 -0500
From: Roy Beavers <>
Organization: EMF-L List...
To: undisclosed-recipients:;

Hi everybody:

As readers will see by noting the date, guru received this message some time ago.  I was very much interested in it -- and wanted to add some comments (which you will see in the text below), so I held it up ... thinking I would get to it soon......

It has taken me too long to get back to it......  Forgive me, Darlene, and many thanks for sending it......!!!

But, it is of such overwhelming interest and importance to the mission of this list that I now tardily turn to it with a zest that I was too busy to display earlier.....

Now -- let's take a good look at this distortion of facts that is being imposed on the people of Wisconsin by two "Fortune 500 companies."......  I am also talking about the performance of some (not actually) "responsible" Public Service Commission officials, as well.......!!!


Roy Beavers (EMFguru)

It is better to light a single candle than to curse the darkness..

People are more important than profit$$

-------- Original Message --------
Subject: Power line draws health concerns
Date: Wed, 27 Sep 2000 18:31:21 -0500
From: Darlene Raunio <>

Hi Roy,

This was just printed in the Sawyer-County Record (Hayward, Wisconsin) and I thought you might like to see the article.  I would send the link but this paper does not archive their articles after the day which it was printed. Darlene

Power line draws health concerns
By Jim Bailey
Sawyer County Record

One of the greatest debates surrounding the proposed Arrowhead-Weston high voltage transmission line concerns the possible health effects on people and animals living near it. The power companies say that such a line would have little or no adverse health affects, while groups opposing the power line say it will have serious, even deadly, consequences.

Major players

On one side of the debate is Power Up Wisconsin, a partnership of two Fortune 500 for-profit power corporations, Minnesota Power (MP) and Wisconsin Public Service Corporation (WPS). They propose to build and operate the 250 mile long, 130 foot tall transmission line running from Duluth to Wausau. They say only small amounts of radiated power would be detectable outside of their right-of-way, and that those levels are not proven to have any serious health effects.

[........."Not proven"?? -- That's the language of the tobacco industry, isn't it??   Who ... in God's name ... first (or last) has ever decreed that the standard which is suitable for protection of the public's interest is only that which "is proven".....???

Answer:  Nobody......  Nobody, that is -- except the vested interests ... and a "free press" with no balls that repeats the industry propaganda without even a suggestion that its validity ought to be challenged........!!!!! is more below.)...........]

On the other side of this power struggle is a grassroots organization called Save Our Unique Lands or SOUL, a group of scientists and concerned citizens who have heavily documented many chronic and life-threatening conditions they claim are linked with the electrical, magnetic and radio frequency emissions of such power lines. They say that the power lines emissions would take two forms: radiated electromagnetic fields (EMF), and ground currents. SOUL members speak of maladies such as Alzheimer's disease, elevated blood pressure, breakdown of immune systems and many forms of cancer being linked with effects that spread out from such transmission lines, both through the air and the ground. Playing the referee between these two coalitions is the Public Service Commission of Wisconsin (PSC). This three-person panel is appointed by Wisconsin's governor to regulate the state's power industry. Its official position, as expressed in its Draft Environmental Impact Statement which was published in May, is that "there is no strong or convincing research that exposure to EMF constitutes a serious health hazard to humans."

[........One of the 'rapidly becoming extinct in America' "creatures" of our governmental system is a "PUBLIC Service Commission" which actually serves the public!!!  The Wisconsin commission is proving the point in this case......  Again, the Wisconsin PSC has taken refuge in the language of the industry propaganda: "no strong or convincing evidence."

If that statement were true -- which it patently is not -- the PSC still would not be doing their job.....!!!

It is not the job of the Wisconsin Public Service Commission (or any other PSC) to rule on the quality of the health evidence -- whether it is "strong or convincing."  They are not qualified to do that....

It IS their job to determine when the public interest may require precautionary rules and regulations to protect the public in cases where:  credible evidence that a risk exists has been presented.......

They exist to serve the public ... NOT the electric industry....!!!  It is their job to "tilt" on the side of the public..... If they don't do that, we should get rid of them!!!!!!  (And, I admit, that would get rid of most of the PSCs of today....)

The test of how well they are fulfilling that function is the standard that every citizen (AND the "press") should be applying to this situation.......!!!  And to the Governor that appointed this PSC......

By definition, a "credible risk" cannot be defined by what is "proved"......  That would be a contradiction in terms.  The meaning of the word "credible" is well short of the meaning of "proof."

If society adopts the "proved" criterion, society is doomed forever to  suffer through a world of "tobacco-like" health risks that inflict decades of needless pain and death upon the people...... And why??  So that $$$$$industry$$$$$  may be protected by "friendly" governmental agencies that were originally created to serve an entirely different]

The commission's Draft Environmental Impact Statement (DEIS) says of ground current that "no credible scientific evidence supports the claim that currents in the earth or associated electrical parameters such as voltages, magnetic fields, and electric fields, are causes of poor health and milk production in dairy herds."

[...........If the PSC reached such a conclusion, then they simply did not get all the evidence that is available........  But, more importantly, that (dairy) issue does not address the question of the abundant epidemiological data that does show risk for humans who live in close proximity to power lines.]

Dairy herds are studied for the effects of ground current because they live in barns with damp floors, making them especially susceptible to electricity in the ground.

The strategies

David Valine, WPS project coordinator, says his company does not conduct studies, and does not have any position on the science involved in the health effects of the power line. He says that WPS relies entirely on the scientific assessment conducted by Wisconsin's power commission.

[........."Those good ol' boys at the PSC will look out for our interests!!" says]

Based on the contents of the DEIS, the two power companies say the radiation passing through the air drops off rapidly several hundred feet away from the line, and that there are no studies proving that the currents passing through the ground have any bad health effects. In fact, they deny the existence of ground currents except in the case of "stray voltage" that sometimes affects dairy herds.

[..........Hey!!  Mr. and Mrs. Wisconsinite, and the "press" -- what do you expect the "two power companies" to say.....!!??   They are talking the same language that the public is getting from Ford and Firestone, aren't they!!??]

Minnesota Power and Wisconsin Public Service Corporation put forth the results of a six-year study by the National Institute of Environmental Health (NIEH) completed in June, 1998, which states that the risk of cancer and other human diseases from exposure to electric and magnetic fields is weak.

[........There is MUCH about that study on the guru's website <>.  I hope that any new readers who see this will check it out......  Start with the guru's "mission statement" --  which addresses the NIEHS Study in some detail.......  BTW, That study also had some advice for the electric utility industry which these two power companies are conveniently]

On the issue of ground currents, they address only the effects of certain types of currents, and limit their comments to studies conducted on dairy herds by the Public Service Commission's Rural Electric Power Services program and by the state's Department of Agriculture, Trade and Consumer Protection. SOUL claims the state and power companies have deliberately under-studied the science available in the field. Spearheaded by Blaire, Wis., electrical engineer David Stetzer, SOUL takes the position that the effects of ground current are not limited to the immediate area around the power lines, but rather are widespread, reaching into homes, schools, farms and businesses up to 45 miles from actual power lines. Stetzer contends that the utility companies underbuild their system of transmission wires. The system, he says, should have a large enough neutral line that they shouldn't have to pass their return current through the earth itself as the conductor that allows the passage of power back to the substations. He says that ground current flows from every power pole, large or small, every home, school, farm and business through the ground and on its surface. No one who is party to this debate disputes the fact that all electrical systems, large or small, are required by national, state and local electrical codes to be grounded. It is through these mandatory ground connections that various electrical currents are co-mingled, says Stetzer And our electricity just isn't what it used to be, he explains. These days computers, compact fluorescent lights, variable speed motors and other "non-linear" devices dirty up the current with all kinds of high frequency peaks and other momentary distortions. And the percentage of "dirt" in our electricity is expected to go up from 20 percent now to a projected 70 percent within two years according to an article in the July 5, 1999 issue of the conservative business publication Fortune. Jumbled current "I can take my oscilloscope (a TV-like measuring device that shows electrical waves) into a yard miles away from one of these big lines and show a whole hodge-podge of currents that will travel up one leg and down the other of a person just standing there with shoes on," Stetzer said. "And it's not nice clean current, either. If they [PSC] are just studying the regular 60 cycle AC electrical pattern, they're missing a whole range of radio and microwave currents. The power industry and their regulators don't want us paying attention to the volumes of industry research and scientific documents that show how this dirty current affects people, animals and equipment."

[..........I am not going to get into an argument with Stetzer here.  This is not the place for it.  Much of what he is teaching is very true and accurate..... But, like many electrical engineers, he believes that the EMF problem can be "fixed" with a technical "fix."  It does not appear to me that most of the problems with bioelectric consequences on the human system ... (the biological/chemical activities that are resulting from the sudden introduction of man-made electricity in vast quantities that the human animal did not experience in his evolution) ... are going to be "fixed" that easily.......

Ultimately, reduced BLUE WORLD exposure is going to be the required answer, I believe....... (Including, of course, reduced RF/MW exposure.)  Dr. Graham (below) presents a much better grasp of the "root" of the]

Scientific Evidence

One man who has worked with Stetzer on this project is Dr. Martin Graham, Ph.D., a professor emeritus of electrical engineering at the University of California at Berkeley. His consulting work helped some California farmers to win a law suit against the manufacturer of a brand of milking machines that was shocking the cows. This brought him in contact with some farmers in Wisconsin who were trying to get an answer as to why their cows were producing milk poorly and showing signs of undiagnosable ailments. Graham directed them in how to make changes in the wiring of milking machines to alleviate the shocking. However, after having fixed their milking machine wiring, the Wisconsin farmers discovered that they still had problems. That is when he was drawn into the whole SOUL investigation. "Things are different in California, Europe, in fact most of the rest of the industrialized world," said Graham. "Here in California our electrical grid system uses very heavy wires to return the current to the substation. In California you can't measure any current [from power lines] going into the ground at all ."

He explains that while it is more expensive to send all current back through a neutral wire, this method avoids what he calls electrical ground pollution. "Electrical pollution is just like chemical pollution. Certain chemicals can affect you when they are present in small con-centrations, say in the parts-per-million range. The same thing can happen with electricity. Say you're exposed to a millionth of an amp, but it's all of the time. You won't feel the shock, but it accumulates. Cumulative electrical poisoning contributes to cancer," said Graham.

[.........Amen!!  That 'cumulative exposure' IS the BLUE]

Both Graham and Stetzer have recently been called as expert witnesses in a lawsuit being brought by the Michigan State Attorney General against Consumer's Energy of Michigan. The attorney general is taking action against the utility company to force them to not put current into the ground which then goes to places that the company cannot control.

SOUL provides lists of doz-ens of studies that they say back up their stance. The proposed transmission line will create a corridor of electromagnetic fields all along its length, and the high percentage of the current that it would put into the ground will have effects throughout the area of northwest Wisconsin, according to SOUL. Dr. Mary Zimmerman, who coordinates research for the group, says that everyone in the Northland should be concerned about the power line. "It is not someone else's problem if this thing is built in a neighboring county," she said.

[.........Guru says:  Everyone in the WORLD "should be concerned about the power lines........."  Specifically to include the Wisconsin line!!!............]

Back to Top