The attention-grabbing and outspoken 84-year old S. David Freeman April 12 stepped down from his post as interim general manager of the nation\u2019s largest municipal utility, the Los Angeles Department of Water & Power. LADWP chief spokesperson Joe Ramallo explained that Freeman had to leave the department since city rules limit interim appointees to six months of service. Ramallo said the department does not know when a permanent general manager may be hired. In the interim, chief operating officer Raman Raj is running the muni. In a farewell letter to LADWP employees, Freeman urged them to \u201ckeep the faith\u201d in transitioning from fossil fuel to renewable energy \u201cdespite what anyone might say.\u201d Freeman\u2019s departure came as Los Angeles Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa, the muni itself, and the city council continued to struggle over a power rate hike to fund that transition. When Villaraigosa appointed Freeman to the interim post last fall, the so-called \u201cGreen Cowboy\u201d withdrew a proposed power rate increase, telling the city council \u201cmy customers are hurting.\u201d He pledged to cut the muni\u2019s budget \u201cto the bone\u201d before proposing any rate hike. By the end of his six-month tenure he maintained the muni could not go forward without a long-term power rate hike to fund its transition to renewable energy, greater energy efficiency, and modernization of its aging distribution system. In his letter to employees, Freeman said the transition is necessary to \u201cprevent the worst from climate change\u201d and also to clean up smog in Los Angeles and create new green jobs. \u201cIt will require a mammoth investment of capital that will place upward pressure on electric rates,\u201d he wrote. Freeman spent his career in the energy field, first as an advisor to President Lyndon Johnson in 1967. President Carter appointed him chair of the Tennessee Valley Authority in 1977. He managed other public utilities, including the LADWP from 1997 through 2001, the year California\u2019s energy crisis culminated. Governor Gray Davis then tapped Freeman to become his \u201cenergy czar\u201d as the chair of the California Power Authority, which was in charge of keeping the state\u2019s lights on as investor-owned utilities suffered financial distress under the state\u2019s deregulation policy. The policy let the wholesale power price fluctuate at market rate--which was manipulated by companies like Enron--but kept the price utilities could charge their retail customers fixed. After Davis was recalled, Freeman returned to Los Angeles and served in numerous city posts under Villaraigosa before returning to LADWP.