MAYOR VILLARAIGOSA APPOINTS S. DAVID FREEMAN TO TOP ENVIRONMENTAL POST
As Deputy Mayor for Energy & Environment, Freeman will be responsible for driving the Mayor’s green agenda at the Department of Water and Power, the Port of Los Angeles, Department of Public Works and Environmental Affairs
LOS ANGELES – April 17, 2009 – Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa today named S. David Freeman to serve as Deputy Mayor for Energy & Environment. As the Mayor’s chief environmental deputy, Freeman will be responsible for driving the City’s green agenda at the Department of Water and Power, the Port of Los Angeles, the Department of Public Works and the City’s Environmental Affairs Department.
“David Freeman is a pioneer for the environment,” said Mayor Villaraigosa. “He has precisely the right combination of bold vision and technical expertise Los Angeles needs as we continue our drive to become the greenest city in America.”
Freeman currently serves as the President of the Los Angeles Board of Harbor Commissioners, where he and his fellow commissioners partnered with the Long Beach Board of Harbor Commissioners in approving the landmark San Pedro Bay Ports Clean Air Action Plan in November of 2006. The Clean Air Action Plan provides a comprehensive strategy for reducing air emissions from port operations by nearly 50 percent over five years.
Environmental leaders praised the selection of Freeman as the Mayor’s top environmental deputy.
“David is a visionary,” said David Pettit, Director of the Natural Resources Defense Council’s Southern California Air Project. “His leadership on the Harbor Commission was a cornerstone in implementing the ground-breaking Clean Trucks Plan and in spurring the Port of Los Angeles to become the greenest port in the world.”
“He is an environmental maverick, a straight shooter and a sure fire way to keep LA at the forefront of California’s environment policies,” said Alberto Mendoza, President and CEO of the Coalition for Clean Air.
"Many people pay lip service to green jobs, energy-efficient industry, and aggressive pollution clean-up, but David Freeman has the vision, grit and expertise to deliver on the bold and sustainable environmental policies that Los Angeles needs in a new and ever-changing economy,” said Patricia Castellanos, Director of the Ports Campaign for the Los Angeles Alliance for a New Economy.
Freeman has a 30-year record as an environmentalist and manager of many of America's largest publicly owned utilities. Freeman was the first person with an energy responsibility in the federal government, appointed by President Lyndon Johnson in 1967. President Jimmy Carter appointed him as chairman of the Tennessee Valley Authority in 1977, where he cut sulfur oxide emissions in half, stopped construction of eight large nuclear power plants and pioneered a massive energy conservation program. Freeman then served as general manager of large public power agencies for the next two decades, including the Los Angeles Department of Water and Power from 1997 to 2001. Under his leadership, the DWP kept the rates level and lights on during California's power crisis.
Freeman has won awards from the Los Angeles Coalition for Clean Air, National Wildlife Association, Global Green and many other organizations for his devotion to clean air, clean water, and renewable energy. He negotiated the settlement of the decades-long dispute over the dust pollution from the Owens (Dry) Lake, resulting in the restoration effort that has created a bird sanctuary and cleaner air for that pristine area.
Freeman holds a B.S. in Civil Engineering from Georgia Tech, and an L.L.B. from the University of Tennessee. Freeman served as a U.S. Merchant Marine in World War II, transporting gasoline across the North Atlantic. He authored Energy: the New Era in 1974, and Winning Our Energy Independence: An Energy Insider Shows How in 2007.
Freeman will resign as president of the Board of Harbor Commissioners on May 7, and begin in his new position on May 8, 2009. He replaces Nancy Sutley as the Mayor’s chief environmental deputy, who was appointed by President Barack Obama to serve as Chair of the White House Council on Environmental Quality on December 15, 2008.