Conversations with History: Institute of International Studies, UC Berkeley

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Energy, Conservation, and The Public Interest: Conversation with S. David Freeman, Chairman of the Board, California Consumer Power and Conservation Financing Authority, September 29, 2003, by Harry Kreisler

This interview is part of the Institute's "Conversations with History" series, and uses Internet technology to share with the public Berkeley's distinction as a global forum for ideas.

Welcome to a Conversation with History. I'm Harry Kreisler of the Institute of International Studies. Our guest today is S. David Freeman, who is the Chairman of the Board of the California Consumer Power and Conservation Financing Authority. In his distinguished forty-year career of public service, Mr. Freeman has been "present at the creation," shaping our public awareness, helping design governmental institutions, and writing the laws that define the framework for U.S. environmental and energy policy. He has served as an advisor on energy and the environment to Presidents Johnson, Nixon, and Carter. He was Chairman of the Tennessee Valley Authority during the Carter administration, and has run many of the most important public power utilities in the country.

  1. Background ... influence of parents ... education ... learned importance of equality ... involvement in Civil Rights movement ... importance of standing for a cause
  2. Public Service ... putting issues on the agenda ... importance of grassroots ... of getting the president's ear ... thoughts on authority and leadership ... importance of listening ... promoting efficiency ... stopping a lignite strip mine ... practical environmentalist
  3. Transition to Alternative Futures ... case of hydrogen ... power of entrenched interests ... taking advantage of a position of influence ... comparing Johnson, Nixon, Carter ... running for office
  4. California and the Energy Crisis ... saving LA Power ... Owens Valley water agreement ... the state power crisis ... utilities require regulation
  5. Conclusion ... devaluation of public service ... advice to students ... perfect vs. good ... the value of struggling to succeed

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