GT Energy Club Hosts WSJ’s Russell Gold

<p>Headshot of Russell Gold, The Wall Street Journal's senior energy reporter.</p>

Headshot of Russell Gold, The Wall Street Journal's senior energy reporter.

Russell Gold, senior energy reporter for the Wall Street Journal, spoke with the Georgia Tech Energy Club members about the intersections of energy technology, policy, and economics, during the club’s October 6, 2020 Energy Chat virtual event. Russell is an award-winning investigative journalist, 2-time finalist for the Pulitzer Prize, and winner of the Thomas L. Stokes Award for Best Energy and Environment writing from the National Press Foundation. The Energy Chat was organized by the Strategic Energy Institute (SEI) in partnership with the GT Energy Club and moderated by Jason Hirschey, Energy Club President. SEI Executive Director Tim Lieuwen said that “It was an honor to host a guest such as Russell Gold. His ability to craft and communicate compelling stories on energy is a rare gift.”

“The Energy Chat with Russell Gold was one of our most successful events in recent memory,” Hirschey said. “Attendance was up over 150% from our regular meetings – largely due to the advertising from SEI and help arranging the event. Many club members told me afterwards that he was one of the best speakers they’ve listened to on the energy space. I attribute this to Russell’s immense knowledge, journalistic curiosity, and ability to convey complex energy issues to a multidisciplinary audience.”

Russell’s journalism is noted for his ability to weave together the factors that influence energy trends, including the technical, political, and economic forces that can either drive or inhibit energy innovation. He emphasized this perspective during Tuesday night’s virtual gathering. Participant Bryan Hare commented that he was “very shocked and intrigued by how Mr. Gold identified politics as today’s main obstacle in the adoption of renewable energy, rather than technology.” Student Kavya Ashok said, “As an engineering school, we do some amazing things in technology. Russell rightly pointed out, however, that we should not forget the policy and regulation aspect of this industry.”

Despite covering stories of devastation, such as his Pulitzer Prize nominated works on the Deep Water Horizon oil spill, and the California wildfires caused by neglected PG&E transmission lines, Russell remains optimistic about our energy future and believes that the U.S. is ready to create a low carbon world with existing technology. He left students with some parting advice, telling them that it will not be enough to create a new and better energy technology. As engineers, they will need to be cognizant of the political influences that can make or break the implementation of their technology no matter how groundbreaking it may be.

For more information on the GT Energy Club, contact Jason Hirschey

News Contact

Sharon Murphy, Research Associate, Strategic Energy Institute