America is a place where if you can dream something — no matter how big or ambitious — you can do it. 

Unless you’re trying to string 700 miles of high-voltage transmission lines to bring wind power from Oklahoma to Tennessee. 

Our guest this week is Russell Gold, author of a new book about the saga that unfolded when wind energy pioneer Michael Skelly tried just that. 

The book, Superpower, is all about Skelly’s attempt to build one of the most ambitious energy infrastructure projects in recent history — and how he faced nearly every obstacle imaginable. What does Skelly’s journey tell us about America’s diminishing ability to do great things?

Russell Gold is a veteran newspaper reporter who was a Pulitzer Prize finalist for his reporting on the Deepwater Horizon oil spill. He wrote a book in 2014 on the rise of fracking, called The Boom. He’ll join us to talk about the reasons why Skelly’s transmission plan failed.

Then, two top presidential candidates are calling for a ban on fracking and promising to phase out nuclear power. What would be the consequences if a Democrat actually put those promises into action?

Finally, we’re digging into a piece from Jonathan Franzen in the New Yorker that got a lot of angry criticism. Should we just give up and stop pretending we can do anything about climate change?

Support for this podcast is brought to you by Sungrow. With the world’s most powerful 250-kilowatt, 1,500-volt string inverter, Sungrow is providing disruptive technology for utility-scale projects.

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