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WIRES News
An Update on Transmission Law and Policy from WIRES
June 30, 2017  
IS FERC'S LACK OF A QUORUM ABOUT TO END?

With three and perhaps four vacancies, the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC), the principal regulator of America's primary energy industries, has been unable to carry out its statutory functions since February 2017. 
The Trump Administration finally sent two nominations to the U.S. Senate for confirmation in May.  The Senate Energy & Natural Resources Committee, chaired by Senator Lisa Murkowski (R-AK), vetted the candidates and voted out Neil Chatterjee and Robert Powelson on June 6. 


WIRES UNIVERSITY EXPLORES GRID OF THE FUTURE ON CAPITOL HILL

On May 25, WIRES presented its daylong seminar of cutting-edge technical and investment issues affecting the prospects for a robust transmission grid in North America. WIRES and its industry and Capitol Hill audience were addressed by Congressmen Jerry McNerney (D-CA) and Tim Walberg (R- M I) and the
Chief Counsel of the Senate ENR Committee.  Each speaker addressed the need for infrastructure investment and the importance of a robust electric transmission system and new technology.

See the full program at
www.wiresgroup.com or watch the panels here.

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HOECKER ADDRESSES HOW TO MAKE GRID GREAT AGAIN

Writing in the first online edition of the Public Utilities Fortnightly, the longtime lead periodical of the utility industry, WIRES Counsel and former FERC Chairman Jim Hoecker outlined why the "new FERC" needs to pursue the Commission's historical pro-transmission and pro-market approach to transmission infrastructure investment and bulk power markets.  Hoecker is surprisingly tough on FERC's Order No. 1000, which is widely perceived as having failed to meet even FERC's own expectations... 

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A WIRES FOUNDER PREPARES TO LEAVE THE STAGE - A Profile of Will Kaul

After 38 years of service, Will Kaul, the President of the highly successful CapX2020 coalition in the upper Midwest, and Great River Energy's vice president
and chief transmission officer, has set his retirement date for July 1, 2017, after which he will continue to consult and provide his expert advice to Great River Energy and the future grid initiative he has led since 2014.

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WIRES' SUMMER MEETING TO FOCUS ON CYBER SECURITY AND THE GRID OF THE FUTURE

When WIRES meets in Washington in July, it will discuss the source of, and solutions to, the physical and cyber threats to North American grid operations. Such challenges and the arrival of distributed resources, storage, demand response, microgrids, and many other technologies make this a transformational period in the power industry and in transmission policy in particular. WIRES has commissioned new studies to address these issues and to demonstrate the diverse benefits that will flow from transmission upgrades and expansions. The studies should be available for release later this summer or before the group's annual meeting in November in Sonoma, California.


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INFRASTRUCTURE WEAK?

The Trump Administration's recent dedication of one week to each of a variety of public policy initiatives got around to infrastructure the week of June 5th, and energy, three weeks later. It has long been recognized that we have underinvested in several aspects of American infrastructure for several decades. In one study, the overall gap between the U.S.'s infrastructure needs and current funding is estimated to be in excess of $2 trillion.   

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SELECT TRANSMISSION NEWS

IF YOU NEED, OWN OR DEPEND ON ELECTRIC TRANSMISSION -
YOU SHOULD JOIN WIRES!
WI RES is the transmission industry's voice on key public policy issues at all levels of government.  During this time of change and challenge in Washington and across the country, your support for WIRES - and participation in its educational and advocacy programs - are essential to building America's electrical grid to meet both current and emerging challenges. 

If you're not already a member, join WIRES by contacting Counsel ( james.hoecker@huschblackwell.com or  jhoecker@helppllc.com ). Comments on this Newsletter or on any matter affecting electric transmission investment may be submitted to contact@wiresgroup.com.

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