Calpine said it hired Larry B. Leverett as its new senior vice president of gas trading, responsible for managing natural gas positions and risk management strategies for Calpine’s 25,100 MW gas-fired power portfolio. Leverett previously was senior vice president of wholesale markets for TXU Portfolio Management LP. He also served in senior management positions with Avista Energy and El Paso Energy. Most recently, he was a senior consultant for PNM Resources, leading commercial and operational management for its Southwest gas and power businesses. “Calpine is one of North America’s largest gas-fired power producers, which makes us one of the country’s largest natural gas end-users and traders. Larry’s proven track record for leading successful gas and power trading and risk management initiatives will enhance our commercial operations — creating value for both our customers and Calpine — and help position the new Calpine for profitable growth,” said Thomas N. May, Calpine’s executive vice president of commercial operations.

The only new face unseating an incumbent in California’s 53-member Congressional delegation turned out to be an alternative energy entrepreneur with a doctorate in mathematics. Rep.-elect Jerry McNerney, a wind energy specialist, unseated seven-term Rep. Richard Pombo from the state’s 11th District in the San Francisco Bay Area. Pombo was chairman of the House Resources Committee. Environmental groups have taken credit for defeating Pombo whom they accuse of trying to roll-back various environmental protections in California and elsewhere. McNerney’s campaign against Pombo was closely watched nationally because of the shift to a Democratic majority in the House. No other incumbent lost in California. After spending his first two years after high school at the U.S. Military Academy at West Point, McNerney earned undergraduate and doctoral degrees at the University of New Mexico. In the mid-1980s, McNerney accepted a senior engineering position with U.S. Windpower, Kenetech, and in 1994 he began working as an energy consultant for Pacific Gas and Electric Co., FloWind, the Electric Power Research Institute, and other utility companies. He is now the CEO of a start-up company that will manufacture wind turbines. According to his campaign website, McNerney’s energy platform for Congress calls for big increases in fuel efficiency for new vehicles, more public transportation, stepped up energy efficiency on a national level, more incentives for renewable power development and upgrading the nation’s electric infrastructure.

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