Seinfeld's J. Peterman Pitches the Hill, Sarah Palin on Energy

John O'Hurley of Chicago, Dancing With the Stars, and Seinfeld fame wants to turn trash into energy.

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By Nikki Schwab, Washington Whispers

He's already a famous face. He has danced with the stars, hosted Family Feud , and played the memorable clothing catalog company head J. Peterman in the long-running sitcom Seinfeld. So it shouldn't be too hard for John O'Hurley to give green-energy giant T. Boone Pickens a run for his money. The actor turned businessman jumped into the green energy business with his company Energy-Inc. and, while in town for a two-week run of the musical Chicago (he plays attorney Billy Flynn), outlined some of his projects for reporters today.

Here's the gist: One technology would capture methane being released from capped landfills, liquefy it, and create energy. Another would shred garbage to produce a synthetic gas that would then spin a turbine to produce electricity. The company even has a way to clean up wastewater from landfills and make it, well, drinkable. "The beauty is this technology and the philosophy behind it is that it will change the way municipalities will think about their garbage," he tells Whispers during a lunch at Teatro Goldoni.

So now all the company has to do is sell it. How would his Seinfeld character J. Peterman sell it? "He would say something like: 'As I was standing in the amber waters of the Ganges River elbow to elbow with the fishwives of New Delhi, I was learning the gentle art of river laundering, trying to put the last-minute spit shine on a pair of . . . blue boxer shorts when it occurred to me that this stuff is drinkable,'" O'Hurley says in his booming voice.

The star has met with members of Congress and representatives of the Environmental Protection Agency to try to get them excited about his venture. "When we went to the EPA the other day, this was our second meeting with them, they had no idea that this technology exists," he says. He plans to meet with other influential people around the country. "I am using my shows as a guise to make my introduction to all of these towns," he says. Next stop: Anchorage, where he will open the show Spamalot. And yes, he'll be talking energy with Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin.

Teatro Goldoni Chef Enzo Fargione, John O'Hurley, Whispers' Nikki Schwab and Washington Examiner reporter Jeff Dufour.

Photo courtesy of Janet Donovan

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