Husch Blackwell Energy Strategist and former Federal Energy Regulatory Commission Chairman Jim Hoecker spoke on Federal News Radio’s The Federal Drive show about the recent executive order signed by President Obama directing agencies to help modernize the nation’s electric grid. Regarding the current state of the grid, Hoecker said, “It performs as well as any in the world, but it’s aging,” and cited power losses during natural disasters like October 2012’s Superstorm Sandy as evidence of the grid’s vulnerability. “We need to do some serious work on that grid for the next 20 years,” Hoecker said. The President’s order only controls the high voltage transmission planned and constructed on federal lands, however Hoecker is hopeful the crux of the message will extend beyond that boundary. “Infrastructure doesn’t get the attention that it needs,” he said. “This should change that.” Hoecker went on to say that this means “trying to thread the needle in and amongst a lot of very sensitive resources … and that will require a great deal of cooperation and collaboration among federal agencies, and between the federal government and private developers and utilities. Hoecker concluded by saying, “This isn’t a development that happens overnight and as this executive order suggests, it will take a lot of process and a lot of time, but we think this is a step in the right direction.”
Listen to Hoecker’s interview in its entirety on FederaNewsRadio.com.