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The Power Hungry Podcast

News & Politics Podcasts

The Power Hungry podcast spotlights energy, power, innovation, and politics. Author and journalist Robert Bryce talks with top thinkers, writers, and influencers.

The Power Hungry podcast spotlights energy, power, innovation, and politics. Author and journalist Robert Bryce talks with top thinkers, writers, and influencers.


United States


The Power Hungry podcast spotlights energy, power, innovation, and politics. Author and journalist Robert Bryce talks with top thinkers, writers, and influencers.








Joy Ditto: CEO of the American Public Power Association

About 50 million Americans get their electricity from publicly owned power systems. In this episode, Joy Ditto, the president and CEO of the American Public Power Association talks with Robert about the lessons learned from the Texas and California blackouts, the importance of nuclear reactors and coal plants for baseload power generation, realistic timelines for decarbonizing the power sector, and why we need to, in her words, “rethink how we value reliability and supply” on the electric...


Dana Harmon: Executive Director Of The Texas Energy Poverty Research Institute About The Blackouts And Their Impact On Low-Income Texans

Energy poverty affects millions of Americans. In this episode, Robert talks to Dana Harmon of the Texas Energy Poverty Research Institute about how the February snowstorm increased energy insecurity among low-income Texans, why weatherization of homes helps increase resilience, and how energy, in her words, should be a “tool to help address poverty and socioeconomic disparities in our system.”


Ben Heard: Founder of Bright New World

Ben Heard, is the founder of Bright New World, an Australian NGO that is “committed to a vision where modern societies thrive on abundant, clean energy.” In this episode, Robert talks to Heard (who appears in Juice: How Electricity Explains the World) about the obstacles to building nuclear reactors Down Under, his visits to Fukushima, the challenges facing Australia’s electric grid, and why his parents are his heroes.


Zion Lights: British Author and Co-Founder of Nuclear For Net Zero

Zion Lights, formerly a communications director for Extinction Rebellion, has become one of Britain’s highest-profile advocates for nuclear energy. In this episode, Robert talks to Lights about apocalyptic environmentalism, the threats that wind energy poses to bats and birds, the parallels between the marketing efforts used by tobacco companies and renewable promoters, and why the nuclear industry “needs rebranding.”


Bill Peacock: Policy Director of The Energy Alliance, Renewable-Energy Subsidies and the Texas Blackouts

In the days immediately after the Texas Blackouts, numerous national media outlets published articles and TV segments which insisted that wind energy was not to blame for the electricity crisis. In this episode, Bill Peacock, policy director of The Energy Alliance, tells Robert about the history of wind energy in Texas, how the billions of dollars in “corporate cronyism” for renewables distorted the state’s electricity market, and how the state should reform that market to assure reliability...


John Harpole: President of Mercator Energy, on the Texas Blackouts and Why Natural Gas is a Strategic Fuel

In the blizzard of finger pointing that is happening in the wake of the Texas Blackouts, the natural gas sector has been getting lots of blame. In this episode, Robert talks to John Harpole, the president of Denver-based gas broker Mercator Energy about the history of gas deregulation, ERCOT’s failure to heed the lessons from the 2011 blackouts, how power cuts by ERCOT reduced the flow of gas during last month’s blizzard, and why gas should be seen as a strategic fuel for the United States.


J. Paul Oxer: Independent Power Developer, on Enron, ERCOT, and the Texas Blackouts

The roots of the Texas Blackouts were planted in the early 2000s during the push to deregulate the state’s electricity market. In this episode, Robert talks to J. Paul Oxer, an engineer who has 45 years of experience in the electricity sector, about his stint at Enron before it failed, how ERCOT works, why the grid should always be ready for “two black swans,” and what Texas should do next.


Steve Brick: Independent Power Systems consultant, on the Texas Blackouts

The fallout from the Texas Blackouts continues to reverberate. In this episode, Robert talks to Steve Brick, a consulting engineer who has 40 years of experience in the power sector, about why renewables are the “pandas” of the electricity sector, the myriad difficulties involved in expanding America’s high-voltage transmission capacity, and why the academics and policymakers who are pushing all-renewable scenarios have “reality deficit disorder.”


Lee Cordner: Consulting Electric Engineer on the Texas and California Blackouts

The Texas Blackouts prove that our electric grid is getting more fragile and blackouts are becoming more common. In this episode, Robert talks, for the second time, with Lee Cordner, an electrical engineer who has 50 years of experience in the power sector, about the causes of the blackouts in Texas and California, how close the Texas grid came to collapse, the importance of baseload power plants like nuclear reactors, and why schemes that aim to power our society solely with renewable...


Meredith Angwin: Author of Shorting the Grid, on the Blizzard Blackouts

Meredith Angwin is a chemist and author, most recently, of Shorting the Grid: The Hidden Fragility of Our Electric Grid. In her second appearance on the podcast, Angwin explains why the blackouts in Texas and elsewhere are happening, the “fatal trifecta” (over-reliance on renewables, natural gas, and imported electricity), why economic incentives are needed to assure reliability, and why the grid needs power plants that have on-site fuel storage.


Todd Moss: Executive Director of the Energy for Growth Hub

Todd Moss is the executive director of the Energy for Growth Hub, a non-profit group that aims to help “All countries achieve the high-energy future they need to become prosperous, competitive, and climate resilient.” In this episode, Robert talks to Moss about the challenges of electrification in Africa, the fuels that will likely play the biggest roles in that effort, the “modern energy minimum,” and his parallel career as a writer of spy novels.


Thomas Gryta: Lights Out: Pride, Delusion, and the Fall of General Electric

Thomas Gryta is a reporter at the Wall Street Journal and the co-author, with Ted Mann, of Lights Out: Pride, Delusion, and the Fall of General Electric. In this episode, Robert talks with Gryta about the book, how GE soared in value under its charismatic leader, Jack Welch, and how hubris, excessive financial leverage, and the company’s dependence on profits from GE Capital, nearly forced America’s most famous industrial company into bankruptcy.


Bernadette Johnson: Vice President of Strategic Analytics at Enverus

Bernadette Johnson is an energy economist at Austin-based Enverus, an energy-data analytics firm. In this episode, Robert talks to Johnson about the recent spike in Asian LNG prices, the future of oil, the resource curse, and what she calls “the fundamental disconnect” between what many people like to believe about renewables and the reality of our hydrocarbon-dependent world.


Diane Fitch: County Supervisor in Madison County, Iowa

Diane Fitch is a county supervisor in Madison County, Iowa, who was elected in 2019 on an anti-wind-energy platform. In this episode, Robert talks to Fitch about the ordinance that was approved by county supervisors in December 2020 that effectively bans new wind projects, why wind energy is facing increasing friction in Iowa, the famous bridges in Madison County, and the growing divide between urban Americans and their rural counterparts.


Jennifer Hernandez: Lead Attorney for The 200

Jennifer Hernandez is a San Francisco-based partner at Holland & Knight, and a lead attorney for The 200, a coalition of California’s Latino leaders who are suing the state over its energy and housing policies. Robert talked with Hernandez about the litigation, California’s housing crisis, the importance of homeownership, and what she calls the “fundamentally racist” policies that are exacerbating poverty and inequality in her home state.


Coilín ÓhAiseadha & Ronan Connolly: Co-authors of a new paper: Energy and Climate Policy

Coilín ÓhAiseadha and Ronan Connolly are Dublin-based researchers and co-authors of a recent academic paper that found global spending on climate change projects totaled nearly $3.7 trillion between 2011 and 2018. Robert talks with them about why more than half of climate-related spending is being garnered by solar and wind, the merits – and problems -- of various energy sources, why more spending should be directed toward climate adaptation, and why there is no panacea when it comes to our...


Brad Rockwell: Kauai Island Utility Cooperative

Brad Rockwell is the executive manager of operations at the Kauai Island Utility Cooperative in Hawaii. In this episode, Robert talks to Rockwell about how his co-op has achieved high penetration of renewable electricity – it now gets about 60% of its electricity from biomass, hydropower and solar – his grid’s use of battery storage, why it will still need oil-fired generators, and the future of renewable electricity on the other Hawaiian islands.


John Mackey: Conscious Leadership

John Mackey is the CEO and co-founder of Whole Foods Market and the co-author of Conscious Leadership: Elevating Humanity Through Business. Robert talks to Mackey about the dearth of leadership in America, why leaders must have integrity, Whole Foods’ merger with Amazon, socialism, capitalism, veganism, animal rights, and why he sees Texas-based grocer H-E-B as his company’s fiercest competitor.


Jim Cooper: California's Natural Gas Bans

California Assemblyman Jim Cooper, a Democrat from Elk Grove, has become a harsh critic of his state’s energy and climate policies. In this episode, Robert talks to Cooper (who was a guest on the podcast in September) about the regressive nature of California’s decarbonization efforts, the Sierra Club’s campaign to ban the use of natural gas, and what he calls the “deliberate indifference” of climate activists to the needs of low- and middle-income Americans.


Anas Alhajji: Editorial Advisor of Attaqa

Anas Alhajji is among the world’s top oil market analysts as well as the editorial advisor of Attaqa, the first Arabic-language energy media and research platform. In this episode, Robert talks with Alhajji about the future of oil, why the U.S. is not energy independent, Iran, Saudi Arabia, and why the shale revolution, as he put it, “flipped everything upside down.”