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Energy & Natural Resources|In The News

Omaha World-Herald: Husch Blackwell’s Jim Hoecker Urges Nebraska to Build State’s Wind Energy Potential

11.15.11

A November 15 Omaha World-Herald article featured Husch Blackwell Senior Counsel and Energy Strategist Jim Hoecker, encouraging the state of Nebraska to put their wind to work for them. Hoecker, former Federal Energy Regulation Commission Chairman, says that developing a transmission infrastructure to provide an adequate platform for competitive power markets would not only help the state’s public utilities, but could be a promising economic opportunity. According to the article, Nebraska ranks fourth in the country for wind potential. “It’s pretty clear that Nebraska has a resource it could monetize if it could develop the markets for it,” Hoecker said. The article also states that Nebraska’s public utilities have recently joined the Southwest Power Pool, an organization of energy industry members that works cohesively to boost power grid reliability. Hoecker said opting into the pool is a good sign that Nebraska is serious about developing its wind energy by working with its neighbors. Hoecker also reminds Nebraskans that transmission line and wind project development would bring jobs to the region. “If we really got hustling on this stuff, we could practically turn this economy around, single-handedly,” he said.