Hoecker Energy Law & Policy - WIRES - Rail Electrification Council - Husch Blackwell
Macro Grid Initiative Launches to Expand and Upgrade America’s Transmission Network
“In this transformative and turbulent period, the nation cannot afford to neglect innovation and investment in a clean, economically efficient, and market-driven energy future. Unless an integrated, inter-regional transmission grid can be established, much of our best renewable energy will remain inaccessible to consumers and industry and the anticipated growth in the use of electricity for transportation will not be met. Overcoming the barriers to siting long-line transmission facilities is a critical task before us and new industry partnerships will be key. We support this “breakthrough” initiative as a refreshing recognition of a frequently unrecognized need.” - Jim Hoecker
Former FERC Chairman Hoecker's New Focus on Railroad Electrification
"The coming electrification of many transportation sectors in North America promises sweeping economic and environmental benefits to consumers and the climate. Our historic railroad companies can be important partners In this development." - Jim Hoecker
The REC is established to promote the adoption of electricity as the principal motive power of domestic railroad (freight and/or passengers) transportation and as an enabler of electric grid integration and innovation. The REC will embark on this mission through support for constructive public policies and regulation, development of helpful standards and best practices, effective communications and education, and innovative commercial product development that benefits NEMA member companies, non-NEMA REC members, and the public’s interest in robust energy and transportation infrastructures.
Documents available for download:
What REC Offers and Why Now (MS-Word)
Section on RAIL ELECTRIFICATION written by James Hoecker on Behalf of the Rail Electrification Council.
Multiple studies show the need for interregional transmission is growing and proposals for streamlining siting will help, but cost allocation remains a barrier
President-elect Joe Biden is set to face red-state opposition as he seeks to carry out his clean energy agenda.
The Trump Administration proposed to repeal EPA’s Clean Power Plan, which was adopted in 2015. The CPP required state regulators to order reductions in greenhouse gas and other emissions from coal-fired power plants. The repeal was based on (1) a potential threat to electric reliability from loss of baseload generation and (2) EPA’s alleged encroachment on FERC authority under the Federal Power Act. As one of the “friends of the court” in American Lung Association v. U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (Case 19-1140, U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit – attached), former FERC Chairman Hoecker and other former regulators argued on brief in April that the CPP was a valid exercise of EPA authority and does not affect either FERC’s regulatory authority or electric reliability. The case has not yet been argued.
On December 19, 1999, the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission enacted Order No. 2000, which encouraged the formation of Regional Transmission Organizations, under the leadership of then Chairman James Hoecker. In a December Op-Ed in Utility Dive, former Chair Hoecker, an ACEG Director, said that, “Order No. 2000, or ‘O2K,’ has long since exceeded our modest expectations in producing economic, reliability, and (I maintain) environmental benefits for electricity consumers.”
Practitioner of energy law since 1979
The major international non-profit trade association in the electric transmission space.
Mr. Hoecker has published and spoken widely. A native of Wisconsin, Mr. Hoecker has lived in Virginia for 40 years. He received his B.A. from Northland College, Ashland, Wisconsin, in 1967; a M.A. and Ph.D. from the University of Kentucky, in 1970 and 1975 respectively; and his Juris Doctor from the University of Wisconsin Law School in 1978. Mr. Hoecker also taught history at the University of Kentucky and Adrian College before entering the legal profession. He is married to Rebecca Evans Hoecker. They have two grown children and four grandchildren.
Video exploring the interconnections between our economy and the electron super-highway.