- The Washington Times - Monday, January 19, 2009

Capitol’s howlin’ winds may offset L.A.’s flyin’ celebs

For once, the strong winds blowing off Capitol Hill might be useful. Two wind turbines at the U.S. Botanical Gardens, within eyeshot of the Capitol building, will help power the city’s electric grid.

The carbon-neutral generators should help offset some of the pollution caused by the celebrities flocking to see Barack Obama this week.

The Institute for Liberty estimates that celebrities flying to Washington for the festivities will pump more than 25 million pounds of CO2 into the air, drivers will emit more than 260 million pounds of CO2, and the total carbon footprint of the inaugural parade will come to 575 million pounds of CO2.

Of course, the whole thing may be a wash if some of the more dire predictions found in the Environmental Protection Agency’s 786-page report detailing the effects of a sea rise pan out. Some of Washingtonians’ favorite vacation spots - the mid-Atlantic’s coastal areas and barrier islands - are in danger of being wiped out by rising ocean waters, the EPA found.

Top staff joins global-warming committee

Republican Rep. James F. Sensenbrenner Jr., the ranking Republican on the House Select Committee on Energy Independence and Global Warming, added two high-level staffers to his team last week.

Former Ambassador Harlan L. Watson returns to Hill-staffing duties following a seven-year run representing the Bush administration before the United Nation’s Framework Convention on Climate Change. Before his diplomatic work, Mr. Watson staffed the House Science Committee for 16 years and worked as a science adviser there.

Bart Forsyth comes from the House Science Subcommittee on Investigations and Oversight, where he worked as counsel to Mr. Sensenbrenner.

Mr. Watson will work as professional staff on the recently re-impaneled global-warming committee, and Mr. Forsyth becomes deputy chief of staff and chief counsel.

Jackson the “strong” pick

New Jersey’s senators like to wear their aphorisms on their chests, Sen. Robert Menendez told members of the Senate Environment and Public Works Committee Tuesday.

Mr. Menendez said he and Sen. Frank R. Lautenberg have a favorite T, which reads “New Jersey: Only the Strong Survive.”

Mr. Menendez used the statement to assert that his New Jersey colleague Lisa Jackson, Mr. Obama’s pick for EPA chief, already had been well-vetted by a state that shows no mercy.

“And Lisa Jackson has not only survived there, but she has thrived in developing and implementing policies that have won wide-ranging praise and respect,” Mr. Menendez said.

When it came time for her to question Mrs. Jackson, Sen. Amy Klobuchar motioned that Northerners are a tough lot, too.

“It was 25 below zero in Minnesota last night, so I think we could amend the T-shirt,” the Minnesota Democrat said.

Tom LoBianco can be reached at [email protected] or 202-636-4891.

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