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Overview

A nationally recognized energy advisor, Jim primarily concentrates his practice on emerging markets in the wholesale electric and natural gas areas.

Inside and outside government, Jim has focused his representations on electric utilities, utility investors, transmission companies, and gas and oil pipelines on issues of infrastructure development and rate regulation, demand response and environmental law. He is also the founder and principal of Hoecker Energy Law & Policy PLLC, where he serves as outside counsel to WIRES, a national business alliance of companies advocating investment in electric transmission, including transmission-dependent wind and solar energy firms as well as transmission developers. He has advised foreign countries and utilities on energy industry reconstructing and has served as an expert witness throughout the United States and Canada. He has given testimony before committees of Congress and administrative tribunals.

Jim’s significant work on behalf of clients in the energy industry has included:

  • Representing a national nonprofit trade association comprising transmission providers and customers, before the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC), the U.S. Department of Energy and Congress in contested and generic rulemaking matters, policy making and legislation.
  • Representing a Canadian independent system operator in structuring an Order No. 888-compliant tariff for export of electric power into the U.S. wholesale power market.
  • Advising an independent transmission developer seeking transmission rate incentives and rate-based treatment under the Federal Power Act for new electric transmission facilities
  • Advising a developer of green-field transmission in New Mexico.

Prior to rejoining private practice, Jim was FERC chairman from 1997 to 2001. During the nearly eight years he served as FERC chairman and, before that, FERC commissioner, he was responsible for instituting regional transmission organizations to administer the wholesale electric power system and streamlining regulatory processes. In the 1980s, Jim was assistant general counsel for gas and oil litigation at FERC, as well as assistant general counsel for rulemaking and legislative analysis.


Industry

Services

Recognition

  • The Best Lawyers in America©, Energy Law, 2021
  • Martindale-Hubbell AV Preeminent
  • National Energy Resources Organization, Distinguished Service Award, 2000 
  • National Society of the Sons of the American Revolution, Silver Good Citizenship Award, 2000

Education

  • J.D., University of Wisconsin Law School
  • Ph.D., University of Kentucky
  • M.A., University of Kentucky
  • B.A., Northland College
    • cum laude

Admissions

  • District of Columbia
  • U.S. District Court, Western District of Wisconsin
  • U.S. Court of Appeals, Sixth Circuit
  • Wisconsin
  • U.S. Supreme Court

Professional Memberships and Certifications

  • Allegheny Energy, Board of Directors, 2001-2004 
  • American Bar Association, Environment, Energy and Resources Section 
  • Clinton/Gore Campaign, Energy Team, Co-chair, 1992 
  • Energy Bar Association, Committee on Natural Gas Pipeline Rates and Accounting 
  • National Council on Competition and The Electric Industry, Board of Directors, 1995-2002 
  • University of Tulsa School of Law, practitioner-in-residence, 2001
Experience
  • Represent national nonprofit trade association comprising transmission providers and customers before regulators and Congress in contested and generic rule-making, policy-making and legislative matters.
    • Drafted and submitted comments and rehearing request on Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) rule-making leading to Order No. 1000.
    • Drafted and advocated for HR 3280, a bill regulating electric transmission development.
    • Supervised the creation of reports on economic effect of transmission development, integration of renewable energy, allocation of costs and smart grid technology.
    • Drafted and filed comments on Department of Energy rule-making to coordinate all federal authorizations for infrastructure on federal lands.
    • Testified before Senate Committee on Energy and Natural Resources and House Special Committee on Climate Change regarding electric power infrastructure.
  • Represented a Canadian independent system operator in structuring an Order No. 888-compliant tariff for export of electric power into the U.S. wholesale power market.
  • Advised and represented an independent transmission developer seeking transmission rate incentives and rate-based treatment under the Federal Power Act for new electric transmission facilities.
  • Advised a developer of green-field transmission in New Mexico.
  • Assisted in advising a power producer about the potential effect of Environmental Protection Agency rules on plant operations and electric reliability.
  • Drafted employment contract for an executive director of a client trade association.
Articles | November 01, 2018
Law360 Expert Analysis: How FERC Aims to Change Transmission Rate Setting

James Hoecker and Sylvia Bartells authored an article on an October 16, 2018 FERC order in the remand proceeding associated with Emera Maine v. FERC.

Full article: How FERC Aims to Change Transmission Rate Setting

Media Mentions | May 14, 2018
S&P Global Platts: Previous FERC chairs trade views on pipeline policy, nuclear power credits

James Hoecker comments on hot topics in the gas and power sector during the annual Energy Bar Association meeting.

Media Mentions | February 13, 2018
S&P Global Platts: Grid deserves more attention in US infrastructure plan

James Hoecker comments on the Trump Administration’s $1.5 million infrastructure plan.

Media Mentions | January 29, 2018
Law360: Split Rulings Show Appetite to Change FERC Pipeline Policy (log-in required)

James Hoecker comments on a call to look at changes to the 1999 FERC policy regarding pipelines.

Community Leadership
  • Northland College, Trustee Emeritus 
  • National Committee on U.S.-China Relations
  • Graywolf Press, National Council

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