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Jeffrey Ball


Jeffrey Ball, formerly The Wall Street Journal’s environment editor, is scholar-in-residence at Stanford University’s Steyer-Taylor Center for Energy Policy and Finance.

At Stanford, Ball writes broadly about energy and the environment and is working on a book. In recent months, he has published pieces in Foreign Affairs, Slate and The Wall Street Journal. He also heads a Stanford project exploring how countries, particularly China and the U.S., might deploy clean-energy capital more efficiently if each one played more strategically to its economic strengths.

Stanford’s Steyer-Taylor Center, a non-partisan initiative of the university’s law and business schools, was created in 2011 to explore economically sensible ways to scale up a cleaner and more-secure energy system. Ball’s research focuses on the intensifying race among companies and countries to corner the clean-energy market, and the implications of that race for consumers and the planet. It centers on the idea that building a more environmentally sustainable energy system will require doing it in a more economically efficient way.

Before coming to Stanford in fall 2011, Ball spent 14 years at The Wall Street Journal. He wrote for most of that time about energy and the environment, in particular about the economic viability of changing the way the world consumes fossil fuels. He covered the auto industry for the Journal out of its Detroit bureau and the oil industry from the paper’s Dallas bureau. In 2009, he wrote a biweekly Journal column, Power Shift, which won an award from the National Press Foundation for its coverage of the changing energy and environmental landscape. He spent most of 2010 covering the Deepwater Horizon oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico, focusing on questions about the spill’s environmental effect.

Also at the Journal, Ball created and was the founding editor of Environmental Capital, a blog on energy and the environment. He helped conceive, and was a host and moderator of, ECO:nomics, the Journal’s annual conference on energy and the environment, which brings together chief executives, policymakers, and other leaders in the field.

Ball is a member of “The Experts,” a Wall Street Journal panel of energy experts who regularly contribute commentary about energy issues on He also remains on the steering committee of The Wall Street Journal’s ECO:nomics conference.

Ball speaks frequently about energy and environmental issues, including on college campuses as a Woodrow Wilson Visiting Fellow. He has appeared on PBS, NPR, CNN and the BBC, among other

Before coming to the Journal, Ball worked as a reporter at the Charlotte (NC) Observer and the Corpus Christi (TX) Caller-Times. He graduated from Yale University, where he was editor-in-chief of the Yale Daily News. He lives in Palo Alto, Calif., with his wife and two daughters.

Follow him on Twitter at @jeff_ball.