More on this later - Frank Stoltze will be spotting this midday - but this is a big deal. In David Nahai's time, the DWP has moved dramatically toward renewable energy: the mayor and Nahai had sort of a standing patter they'd do where the mayor would vow to hold the DWP accountable, and Nahai would vow to be held accountable, at just about every press conference. Then as Villaraigosa started his second term, he vowed to make Los Angeles coal-free - entirely - within 11 years. Huge promise.
Nahai's taken a lot of political flak lately. David Zahniser of the LA Times did a sweeping story on the DWP getting politically outmaneuvered by someone close to the mayor. When Measure B went down in May, he took the blame for it. And when people slam Villaraigosa for big green promises that haven't ripened yet, Nahai's the guy they point at.
Still, I've been covering Nahai since 2007, and one of the most memorable things I've seen him do in that time was go out to Yucca Valley to talk to people about Green Path north. Nahai stood at a podium in the local high school, wearing one of those cool outdoors gear kinda white shirts you know just breathes. His teeth gleamed as white as they do when set against the high beam of the French cuffs under his bespoke suit. And he listened to people shout at him and plead with him and argue with him for hours. At the time, that went some way in repairing fragile relations between the DWP and the surrounding areas Los Angeles and its utility built an empire on in the last century. It was a classy move.
I'm at the Governor's Global Climate Summit again - wrapping up - and was wondering this week why the DWP hasn't been maintaining too large of a presence. Perhaps this is related?