WIRES applauds selection of Ron Binz as new FERC chair

WASHINGTON, DC – WIRES today reacted positively to President Obama’s selection of Ron Binz to be the new Chairman of the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission.

“For many years, Ron Binz has been an important contributor to the conversation about how the power industry, and the transmission sector in particular, need to evolve to meet the needs of our 21st Century economy,” said WIRES Counsel Jim Hoecker, himself a former FERC Chairman.

“The President has made an intelligent choice and WIRES wishes Commissioner Binz well in the confirmation process and in his tenure at the Commission.”

Binz was chairman of the Colorado Public Utilities Commission from 2007 to 2011, and now heads Public Policy Consulting, a regulatory consulting practice.  He also serves as policy advisor with the Center for the New Energy Economy at Colorado State University, a privately funded initiative to support clean energy. He is a former president of the Competition Policy Institute, a non-profit group devoted to boosting competition in energy and telecommunications markets.

Hoecker also acknowledged outgoing FERC Chairman Jon Wellinghoff’s efforts to promote transmission modernization during his four and a half years heading the agency.  “Chairman Wellinghoff has chaired the Commission during a time of dramatic change and innovation in the energy industry.  In the face of considerable challenges, the Chairman has pointed the agency in a clear pro-competition, pro-consumer direction,” Hoecker said.