Pitching Wind Power
In his new book, Superpower: One Man’s Quest to Transform American Energy, Wall Street Journal senior energy reporter Russell Gold tells the story of Michael Skelly, a Harvard grad and entrepreneur who’s been instrumental in making wind power a serious contender in the renewable energy source conversation.
In 2009, Skelly founded Clean Line Energy Partners, a renewable energy resources provider. Gold chronicles the company’s founding and its founder’s pursuit to build the revolutionary Plains & Eastern transmission line, a $2.2 billion, 700-mile endeavor that would have delivered wind power from Oklahoma all the way to Tennessee.
Though the line never came to fruition, Skelly’s attempt raised wind power’s profile in national, economic, and political discourse on renewable energy.
In an interview with the Austin American Statesman, Gold about the impact of Skelly’s story on the future of clean energy efforts:
It’s a lot easier to campaign and talk about renewable energy than it is to talk about the nitty-gritty of what we need to do to make that happen. And so I think that there’s a disconnect right now between the politics and how popular renewable energy is and the people who want to sit around and talk about, “OK, how do we actually get this done?” The Green New Deal is a perfect example of that. It’s a great collection of ideas without a lot of details. We need to get into the details, we need to be serious about the details, because taking the carbon out of our economy isn’t going to happen in political platitudes and Twitter posts. It’s going to happen with people building new infrastructure and investing hundreds of millions of dollars. And that’s why I wanted to write this book. I wanted to give people an idea not just of the challenges developers and entrepreneurs face, but also the potential rewards.
We talk with Russell Gold and Michael Skelly about the obstacles that persist in the fight for renewable energy infrastructure today.
Russell Gold, Wall Street Journal senior energy reporter and author of Superpower: One Man’s Quest to Transform American Energy
Michael Skelly, Clean energy entrepreneur
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