Volts in the media

A few recent hits.

Ahoy, Voltron! I’m hard at work on a couple of posts — one about parenting, one about the likely economic effects of the Build Back Better Act — but neither one is done, so to hold you over today, I thought I’d pass along some recent media appearances.

I was on MSNBC’s All In with Chris Hayes twice and a couple of podcasts.


I would love to show you video clips of the All In appearances, but none are available, so we’ll have to make do with transcripts.

On September 8, I was on the show to discuss a new report from the Department of Energy modeling the effects of decarbonizing the electricity sector. Here’s the transcript. And here’s an excerpt:

ROBERTS: The real headline here is you can drive 95 percent of the greenhouse gases out of the U.S. electricity sector by 2035 with no extra cost to electricity ratepayers. It would cost roughly the same as our current trajectory.

HAYES: Wait, really?


Then I was on again on October 12, to discuss the spectacular failure (and partial implosion) of the Kemper “clean coal” plant in Mississippi and the contrast with the right’s hysteria over Solyndra.

Here’s the transcript. Here’s the full episode (behind a paywall). And here’s a bit:

ROBERTS: There’s two things involved. One is the capturing the carbon and burying it. That is an important technology that we are going to have to develop eventually, because if nothing else, there will be industrial facilities that are emitting CO2 that we — and we don’t yet know how to do those industrial processes in a zero-carbon way, so we have no choice but to capture the carbon and bury it.

So, we do need to develop that technology. The idea that you would use it to keep coal plants alive was always a farce. I mean, coal plants are already the most expensive way to get power. If you bolt one of these facilities onto it and miraculously can make it work, best-case scenario it’s billions more dollars and an energy penalty of something like a third of the energy the plant creates, to run the carbon-capture facility.

So the whole idea of clean coal was always ridiculous, but it does need to be separated out from carbon capture and sequestration, which is its own beast.

HAYES: That’s a great point and an important one.

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Just this week, I was on the Political Climate podcast, with hosts Julia Pyper, Brandon Hurlbut, and Shane Skelton. In a delightful twist of fate, the podcast has been brought under the umbrella of Canary Media, where I am an editor-at-large, so everything is just coming together, isn’t it?

We talked about the current gridlock and Democratic infighting in Congress as we reach make-or-break time for the reconciliation bill, the last chance to do anything big on climate change for a decade or more. I expressed some tentative optimism, for which the universe will no doubt harshly punish me.

I blabbed on for so long that there will be a bonus episode next week with more blabbing. You’ll see it on Canary, which you should be reading/bookmarking/subscribing to anyway.

This one’s from a while ago, but I don’t think I ever shared it. In July, I was on The Energy Impact Podcast, with host Bret Kugelmass. It was a ton of fun. We talked about how I got into the biz, why I started Volts, what it means to do explanatory journalism, and my recent obsession with clean electrification, among other things. Covered quite a bit of ground in an hour!

Thanks for reading and listening, y’all. If you value this kind of work, please consider becoming a paid subscriber to Volts, so I can continue blabbing!