- The Washington Times - Tuesday, April 21, 2009

One energy tipsheet proclaims that this week easily could be the “mother of all climate weeks” and it’s hard to argue for anyone closely wrapped up in energy and environmental issues because formal debate on the House climate bill begins this week.

All eyes will be on the House Energy and Commerce Committee, at least through Memorial Day, as lawmakers work on the climate bill drafted by Democratic Reps. Henry A. Waxman of California and Edward J. Markey of Massachusetts.

The action starts this week in Mr. Markey’s Energy and Environment Subcommittee, opening with testimony from members Tuesday. Obama administration leaders will testify Wednesday, and former Vice President Al Gore will testify Friday with former Sen. John Warner.

The 35-member subcommittee is set to amend the bill next week.

One sizable question still looms: How will allowance for the proposed carbon-trading system be priced and distributed?

What would (green) Jesus do?

The Catholic Coalition on Climate Change is launching a campaign Tuesday to combat global warming. The group, which includes leaders from the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops and Catholic Relief Services, will be reaching out to parishioners to encourage conservation and environmental stewardship.

The group will “encourage Catholic individuals, families, schools, parishes and organizations to: pray for those impacted by changing climate; reflect on the Church’s teaching about environmental stewardship; assess their lifestyles; reduce their energy use; and reach out to elected officials at a moment when Congress is considering climate change legislation,” according to an announcement sent out Monday.

No line before its time

“We will sell no wine before its time,” the classic advertising slogan used in the late ‘70s by Paul Masson winery, seems to be the cause of occasional consternation for those who deliver it.

Rep. Edward J. Markey, Massachusetts Democrat, attempting to distill the essence of fine legislation during a conference call with reporters last week, attributed the line to winemaking brothers Ernest and Julio Gallo.

An intrepid producer for Fox News ever-so-gently reminded the climate-panel chairman that it was Paul Masson, the Frenchman-turned-California-vintner, who made that claim, not the Gallo brothers.

A quick stroll over to YouTube also would remind readers that it was Orson Welles who hilariously stumbled through the wine line during a commercial shoot after apparently finding all the wine on the set to be “in its time.”

Lights out

Sen. Benjamin L. Cardin, Maryland Democrat, had to cancel a speech about the effects of global warming he was set to give last week at the University of Maryland, Baltimore County after he learned the power was out in the area.

Lest anyone attribute the outage to the ravages of global warming, a Cardin spokeswoman told the Arbutus Times that the local power company had needed to shut down the power after a driver plowed into a utility pole, and a work crew spent the day fixing it.

The HR File

Phil Radford took over last week as executive director of Greenpeace, taking the spot John Passacantando vacated at the end of last year. Mr. Radford moves up in the organization after directing the group’s grass-roots efforts and founding the clean-energy group Powershift.

If you have any staff changes or updates you would like to see in this column, which runs every Tuesday, drop me a line.

Tom LoBianco can be reached at [email protected]

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