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Amy Harder is the Executive Editor for Cipher, a publication supported by Bill Gates' Breakthrough Energy

Amy Harder, Executive Editor for Cipher

Amy Harder - Energy Writer of the Year 2022, the premier literary award for energy

Amy Harder – Energy Writer of the Year 2022

The premier literary award for the energy sector.

Choosing the winner of the premier literary award for energy is always difficult…. But Amy Harder’s spirited effort to launch a new publication made our selection process much easier.”

— Eric Vettel, President, AES

PALO ALTO, CA, UNITED STATES, December 5, 2022 / — American Energy Society is pleased to announce that it has selected Amy Harder as its Energy Writer of the Year.

For more than a dozen years, Amy Harder has pursued journalism that seeks to inform the public on complex energy and climate change topics. Her career has spanned several different focuses and publications, including the fracking boom at National Journal, regulatory battles at The Wall Street Journal and climate change at Axios. The Society began to take special note of her work in 2021. That’s when she helped launch Cipher, a new publication covering climate and energy technologies whose team includes Brussels-based correspondent Anca Gurzu.

The publication, which is supported by Breakthrough Energy (an organization founded by Bill Gates), employs what Amy calls mission-driven journalism. By this, she means reporting that shows an unwavering commitment to understanding decarbonization. With Amy as Executive Editor, it didn’t take long for Cipher to attract a loyal audience amid the growing and competitive landscape of climate and energy journalism.

No matter your position on the energy transition, everything Amy writes is worth reading. Her approach is challenging but not antagonistic. Her style is personable but not personal. “My work at Cipher openly supports one overarching purpose,” says Amy. “Accelerate understanding of the technology required to get to net-zero greenhouse gas emissions and facilitate the critical conversations that help us understand the challenges and opportunities of this needed transformation.”

Lessons Learned from Cleantech 1.0 — a recent column published in Cipher — illustrates Amy’s journalistic method. The topic itself may divide some readers―supporters of cleantech may wish to forget the substantial losses; whereas skeptics of cleantech may point to those losses as evidence cleantech is a bad investment. Amy pushes past this simplistic, binary storyline to counsel principles and patience in pursuit of a cleaner energy transition.

According to Eric Vettel, President of American Energy Society, “Choosing the winner of the premier literary award for energy is always difficult; the topics are top-of-mind and a magnet that attracts the best writers. But Amy Harder’s courageous efforts at Cipher made our selection process much easier. We chose Amy Harder as Energy Writer of the Year for her intellectual rigor, her balanced treatment of competing ideas, her spirited approach to difficult subjects, her engaging storytelling, and for her lifetime of professional achievements.”

About Amy Harder: In addition to her time at the National Journal, Wall Street Journal, Axios, and Cipher, Amy was the inaugural journalism fellow for the University of Chicago’s Energy Policy Institute. She also contributes to the PBS NewsHour, CSPAN, MSNBC, CBS, and NPR, and delivers keynote addresses and moderates event panels around the world. Amy received a BA in journalism with honors from Western Washington University.

Previous “Energy Writers of the Year”:
2021: Katharine Hayhoe, Saving Us
2020: Daniel Yergin, The New Map
2019: Vaclav Smil, Growth: From Microorganisms to Megacities
2018: Nathaniel Rich, “Losing Earth,” The New York Times Magazine
2017: Meaghan O’Sullivan, Windfall: How the New Energy Abundance Upends Global Politics and Strengthens America’s Power
2016: Mark Mills: Shale 2.0
2015: Coral Davenport, New York Times.

About American Energy Society: American Energy Society (AES) is a non-partisan, independent association of nearly 135,000 professionals from every energy and sustainability sector. Through a variety of services and programs, the AES supports its Members with recognized publications like Energy Today and Energy Matters, updates on groundbreaking discoveries, and notifications about upcoming conferences, funding and awards, job openings, and more.

To learn more about AES, visit Or, credentialed media can contact AES for more information about this award or its previous winners.

Eric Vettel
American Energy Society
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