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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.


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








Matt Wald: Independent Writer and Consultant

Matt Wald has been writing about the energy and power sectors for decades, including 38 years as a reporter at the New York Times. In this episode, Wald talks about his recent articles for the American Nuclear Society on the nuclear fuel “Gordian knot,” why the U.S. quit enriching uranium and in doing so, empowered Russia, SMRs, HALEU, and why he believes the federal government will have to step in to assure long-term supplies of nuclear fuel for the domestic fleet of reactors. (Recorded May 25, 2023.)


Ashley Nunes: Director of Federal Policy, Climate, and Energy at Breakthrough Institute

On April 26, 2023, Ashley Nunes testified before Congress about electric vehicles, saying that just because EVs “can lower emissions doesn’t mean that they necessarily will.” In this episode, Nunes, who in addition to his position with the Breakthrough Institute is also a researcher at Harvard Law School, explains why EV prices are rising, why EV makers haven’t demonstrated a “viable path to profitability,” and why the federal government’s lavish support and mandates for EVs are an “unworkable policy.” (Recorded May 2, 2023.)


Ruy Teixeira: Politics Editor at

Ruy Teixeira is the author or co-author of eight books, as well as a prolific writer on politics in America, including his recent essay, “The Working Class Isn’t Down With the Green Transition.” In this episode, Teixeira talks about how the climate change issue came to dominate Democratic Party politics, how the party lost its connections to rural Americans, the “insularity of the elites” who dominate both parties, the attacks on free speech that are coming from the Left, and why more Hispanic voters are attracted to the Republican Party. (Recorded April 20, 2023.)


Karl Meeusen, Director of Markets, Legislative and Regulatory Policy at Wärtsilä

Over the past few years, Helsinki-based Wärtsilä has made inroads into the U.S. power generation market with its huge gas-fired reciprocating engines, including a 190-megawatt deal it struck with the Lower Colorado River Authority in February. In this episode, Karl Meeusen, who directs Wärtsilä’s legislative and regulatory team in the U.S., explains why his company’s fast start-and-stop engines are a good match for grids that need to offset the variability of wind and solar, the ongoing challenges of building high-voltage transmission capacity, and why Texas “is a big focus” for his company. (Recorded April 17, 2023.)


Doug Lewin: President of Austin-based Stoic Energy Consulting

The Texas Legislature is now in the final days of considering a spate of bills that could change how the state’s electricity market functions. In this episode, Doug Lewin, who has been tracking energy-related legislation at the Texas Capitol for more than 20 years, explains the surge in distributed generation, the huge amounts of solar and storage coming onto the ERCOT grid, the prospects for a Texas capacity market, and why his first priority would be to “weatherize, weatherize, weatherize” the state’s gas plants, homes, and businesses. (Recorded May 5, 2023.)


Xu Chen: Senior Director for Power, Renewables, and Energy Transition at FTI Consulting

Xu Chen has spent 15 years in the solar sector, including a stint at GCL, a major producer of polysilicon. In this episode, Chen explains why costs for solar projects are increasing (up 8.5% in the first quarter alone), how enforcement of the Uyghur Forced Labor Prevention Act and tariffs are impacting supply chains and prices, the increasing efficiency of solar panels, and why pairing solar with batteries could ease congestion challenges on the electric grid. (Recorded April 19, 2023.)


Roger Pielke Jr.: Writer of The Honest Broker on Substack

Roger Pielke Jr. is a professor at the University of Colorado, as well as a writer on Substack where he focuses on climate policy, sports governance, and the messy “place where science and politics collide.” In his fifth appearance on the podcast, (his last appearance was July 28, 2022) Pielke talks about his recent essay on the “pathological politicization of science,” the mistakes in the latest IPCC report, the “long plateau” in global emissions, adaptation, and why media coverage of climate change is “broken.” (Recorded April 11, 2023)


Jim Murchie: CEO of Energy Income Partners

Jim Murchie heads Connecticut-based Energy Income Partners, an investment firm that focuses on “poles, wires, pipes, and tanks.” In this epsiode, Murchie talks about why the best investing returns come from “natural and legal monopolies,” why shareholders took “the credit card away” from oil and gas drillers, and why despite its many challenges, the U.S. energy sector continues to lead the world. (Recorded March 24, 2023).


Zabrina Johal: Senior Director of Strategic Development at General Atomics

Zabrina Johal is a former U.S. Navy officer who, among other jobs, managed nuclear operations on the carrier USS Carl Vinson. In this episode, Johal talks about her work at General Atomics, including the firm’s work on fusion, the supply chain issues that must be overcome for fusion to be commercialized, thermo-nuclear propulsion, TRIGA reactors, and why the Navy plays a critical role in projecting American power around the world. (Recorded March 28, 2023.)


Scott Sheffield: CEO of Pioneer Natural Resources

Scott Sheffield heads Irving-based Pioneer Natural Resources, a $47 billion company that is the largest oil producer in Texas. In this episode, Sheffield discusses the challenges facing drillers in the Permian Basin, why the industry is increasing the length of its laterals, the use of “damp sand” in fracking, flaring, capital discipline, and why OPEC producers will continue to dominate the global oil sector in the years ahead. (Recorded March 29, 2023.)


Alina Chan, Co-Author (with Matt Ridley) of Viral: The Search for the Origin of Covid-19

Alina Chan is a molecular biologist, scientific advisor at the Broad Institute of MIT and Harvard, and the co-author of Viral: The Search for the Origin of Covid-19. In this episode, Chan says that more than three years after the start of the pandemic, there still has been “no credible investigation” of the origins of Covid, the continuing resistance among some scientists for a full investigation, the key role that Twitter has played in the investigation, and her views on the wet market, lockdowns, masks, and Anthony Fauci, and why she’s still pushing for a full investigation. (Recorded April 3, 2023.)


Matt Brandrup: President and CEO of Rural Electric Supply Cooperative

Matt Brandrup heads the Rural Electric Supply Cooperative, a Wisconsin-based coop that provides utility products to electric coops in several states in the Midwest. In this episode, Brandrup talks about the “staggering increases” he is seeing in the cost of transformers, conductors, and other utility products (up an average of 18% in 2022 alone), transformer shortages, labor shortages, the special types of steel needed by the industry, and why tight market conditions are likely to persist for years to come. (Recorded March 23, 2023.)


Jeff Gibbs: Director of Planet Of the Humans

Jeff Gibbs is the director of Planet of the Humans, a feature-length documentary released in 2019 which generated controversy because of its full-throated criticism of alternative energy, and even led some academics -- including Michael Mann. Leah Stokes, and Mark Jacobson -- to demand that Michael Moore, the executive director of the film, issue an apology. In this episode, Gibbs talks about what has happened since the film was released, why “green energy is delusional energy,” why he believes we are “in denial that we are reaching” the limits of the planet to sustain so many humans, and why he sees climate activist Bill McKibben as the “environmental Jesus.” (Recorded on January 26, 2023)


B.F. Randall: Pro-Nuclear Writer on Twitter and Substack

B.F. Randall is a Utah-based lawyer who has gained traction on Twitter and Substack for his views about mining, metals, and the importance of diesel fuel (“crude oil is like raw milk, and diesel fuel is the cream) to the global economy. In this episode, Randall explains why he calls wind and solar energy “random Uber,” why the mining industry loves wind energy, and his unstinting support for nuclear energy, which he explains by asking “ “why are we mining atoms when we could be splitting them?” (This episode was recorded on February 13, 2023.)


Isaac Orr: Policy Fellow at the Center of the American Experiment

Isaac Orr researches and writes about environmental issues, mining, and energy for the Center of the American Experiment, a think tank based in Golden Valley, Minnesota. In his third appearance on the podcast (his last was on July 12, 2022) Orr talks about the impact that Senate File 4, a new law that mandates Minnesota utilities be delivering 100-percent carbon-free electricity by 2040, the NGOs that pushed the legislation, why it will cost ratepayers an additional $300 billion, and why it will likely lead to blackouts and leave Minnesota in a “reliability hole.” (Recorded on February 22, 2023.)


Brett Rampal: Director of Nuclear and Power Strategy at Veriten

Brett Rampal is the director of nuclear and power strategy at Veriten, a Houston-based energy advisory firm. In this episode, Brett, a nuclear engineer, talks about the Nuclear Regulatory Commission’s recent approval of NuScale Power's reactor design, why the agency could soon be overwhelmed by the number of companies trying to get permits for their reactors, the emerging fuel-supply challenges, and why the “biggest opportunity for nuclear in the U.S. might be for thermal output, not electricity.” (Recorded January 25, 2023.)


Kelly Wanser: Executive Director of Silver Lining

Kelly Wanser heads Silver Lining, a nonprofit “dedicated to ensuring that society has information and options to address near-term climate risk.” In this episode, Wanser explains why she prefers to use the term “climate intervention” instead of “geoengineering,” how an “aerosol parasol” placed in the stratosphere might help reduce the danger of catastrophic climate change, and the many technical and political challenges facing climate intervention efforts. (Recorded February 9, 2023)


Rusty Towell: Professor of Engineering and Physics at Abilene Christian University

Rusty Towell is a professor of engineering and physics, and the director of the NEXT Lab, at Abilene Christian University, which applied to the Nuclear Regulatory Commission last August for a construction permit that may allow it to build the first new research reactor of any kind in the U.S. in more than 30 years. In this episode, Towell walks us through the design of the molten salt reactor ACU wants to build, the hurdles it faces at the NRC, why the university may have an advantage in obtaining the enriched-uranium fuel it needs, and why, if the project succeeds, it could lead to commercial success in the small modular reactor market. (Recorded January 27, 2023.)


Anne Brande: Founder of Albany County Conservancy

Anne Brande is a fourth-generation Wyomingite and the founder of the Laramie-based Albany County Conservancy, a non-profit which is opposing several proposed wind projects including Rail Tie, Two Rivers, and Rock Creek. Brande explains why her group may sue the federal government for possible violations of the National Environmental Policy Act and Bald and Golden Eagle Protection Act, why “we need biodiversity” and why in her words, “I’m not going cower” despite the prospect of costly litigation.



Doomberg is the pseudonym of the team that runs the top-earning finance publication on Substack. In the famed green chicken’s second appearance on the podcast (the first was May 27, 2022) Doomberg talks about the “bipolarity” of the Biden administration on energy, the “two Chinas,” the formula the team uses for each Substack post, how they built the Doomberg brand, and why they are concerned about the growing political polarization in America.