In the 1960s, scientists who worked for General Motors and Ford discovered that the exhaust from their cars was very likely changing the climate. They made presentations at conferences. They briefed senior executives. And then, they were publicly contradicted and their work was suppressed. 

We’ll talk to Maxine Joselow, the journalist who reported the story for E&E News over many months. She talked with more than two dozen former GM and Ford employees, retired auto industry executives, academics and environmentalists about what the companies knew about climate change five decades ago.

It leaves the reader wondering: What if automakers had taken the problem more seriously a half-century ago?

We are still feeling the ripple effects of the investigations conducted five years ago showing that ExxonMobil’s staff scientists were well aware decades ago that petroleum causes global warming. The reporting spawned public backlash and resulted in real-world legal cases against the company.

Later in the show: Plenty of conservative-leaning states are embracing renewables. But now 100% clean energy mandates are spreading to redder states. The latest is Arizona, a place where elected officials and a giant utility previously worked to stop the march of clean energy. We’ll look at the shift. 

And finally, we'll discuss whether a Marshall Plan for fading coal communities can rebuild America’s former industrial regions.

The Energy Gang is brought to you by Wärtsilä Energy, leading the transition toward a 100% renewable energy future. Wärtsilä launched “The Path to 100%” to accelerate the transition to renewables. Become part of the discussion.

The Energy Gang is brought to you by Honeywell, a leading supplier of IoT solutions to mission-critical industries around the world. Honeywell Smart Energy helps utilities transform their grid operations through advanced solutions and targeted services from edge to cloud. Learn more.