- The Washington Times - Tuesday, May 19, 2009

Climate gambit showdown

This is the week to follow for action on global-warming legislation. While it appears unlikely that any proposals will make it to President Obama’s desk this year, House Democrats are charging forward with plans to pass a bill this week.

In poker terms, the wrangling for support between House Energy and Commerce Committee Democrats and Republicans - who haven’t played their hands close to the vest - has resulted in a “showdown” between the committee chairman, Rep. Henry A. Waxman, California Democrat, and the ranking member, Rep. Joe L. Barton, Texas Republican.

In poker, a “showdown” is when the players show their hands. Mr. Barton offered up his own Texas poker analogy Thursday, and an estimate of his opponent’s hand Thursday.

Mr. Barton said Mr. Waxman doesn’t have an unbeatable hand, given the cards that have been dealt.

Mr. Barton has said he and the committee’s 22 other Republicans will be pulling out all the stops to block the legislation - including plans to offer 450 amendments in an effort to stall the proposal.

It remains to be seen who wins the pot.

Chu peddles foot power

Obama Energy Secretary Steven Chu hopped back on two wheels last week to support Bike to Work Day - a luxury the carbon-conscious Cabinet member rarely gets to enjoy.

Since taking the administration job Mr. Chu has had to settle for drivers and security detail. In previous jobs, including running the Energy Department’s Berkeley National Laboratory in Berkeley, California, Mr. Chu was a frequent cyclist.

Enviros tap spymaster

James Bond No. 5, Pierce Brosnan, will be pushing for the Environmental Protection Agency to avert global disaster by regulating greenhouse gasses using the Clean Air Act.

The Environmental Protection Agency found last month that carbon dioxide is one of six pollutants responsible for global warming and is holding hearings on the issue this week.

The Sierra Club has tapped the fifth Bond (don’t forget George Lazenby’s brief stint as the second Mr. Bond after Sean Connery but before Roger Moore and Timothy Dalton) testify in favor of the EPA’s so-called “endangerment finding.”

“Dylan, our oldest son, was born just twelve years ago in 1997, and in his lifetime, U.S. global warming pollution has grown by nearly eight percent,” Mr. Brosnan and his wife Kelly wrote to supporters in an e-mail last week. “Quickly finalizing this finding will give the EPA both the authority and the obligation to regulate the global warming pollution that endangers children like Dylan and future generations.”

The Obama administration has walked a fine line with the “endangerment finding,” cautioning that, despite what environmental activists are saying, the new definition does not guarantee the EPA will regulate carbon dioxide under.

The HR File

Interior Secretary Ken Salazar tapped former National Park Service Director Robert G. Stanton to be the department’s deputy assistant secretary of the interior for policy, management and budget.

Mr. Stanton ran the National Park Service from 1997 to 2001; he currently teaches at Texas A&M University, Howard University and Yale University.

DuPont Chemicals, which has played an integral role in the U.S. Climate Action Partnership, announced Monday that Barry Granger will lead their Government Marketing and Government Affairs division, focusing on spending from the economic stimulus package.

Tom LoBianco can be reached at [email protected]

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