Archbishop Pietro Sambi, papal nuncio to Washington, is letting it be known that he suggested to President Bush in a private meeting earlier this year that the best way to bring peace to the Middle East would be developing an "alternative" energy policy.
Sambi, apostolic delegate in Jerusalem before coming to Washington, embraces the theory that oil is the source of much evil, besides wealth, for countries that produce it, and that a global switch to alternative fuel sources would help stabilize the region.
In their conversation, Bush asked Sambi whether he had any ideas for winning the war. According to Catholic sources, the papal nuncio responded that the Vatican did not fight but only prayed.
Facing two years of critical oversight from the Democratic-controlled Congress, Bush-appointed officials in the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) are making plans for a quick departure.
An investigative onslaught is expected from Rep. Henry Waxman of California as chairman of the Government Reform Committee and Rep. John Dingell of Michigan as chairman of the Energy and Commerce Committee. They plan to probe corporate influence on EPA policy.
Dingell, the senior member of Congress with 25 terms in the House, proved a tough adversary of Republican administrations in his past tenure as a committee chairman. However, Dingell does have ties to the automotive industry and could be a partial counterweight to Waxman's policies on alleged global warming.