The Honorable James Woolsey is the Chairman of Paladin's Strategic Advisory Group. He is a partner at Booz Allen Hamilton and from 1993 to 1995 was the Director of the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA). He endorsed Senator John McCain for president and served as one of McCain's foreign policy advisors. In his government service, his law practice, and his service on corporate boards, Mr. Woolsey has focused on the practical application of innovative technology and on the legal and managerial requirements that are necessary to accomplish this. During the last two decades, he has served on the boards of fourteen companies; almost all have been significantly involved in using high technology to improve security as well as provide other benefits to private and public sector consumers. He was an early member of the board of directors of Yurie Systems, Inc., a provider of ATM access technology and equipment and access concentrators, which, in 1997, was named by Business Week as the fastest-growing corporation in the U.S. As Under Secretary of the Navy, as a member of the President's Blue Ribbon Commission on Defense Management (Packard Commission), the Commission to Assess the Ballistic Missile Threat to the U.S. (Rumsfeld Commission, 1998) and as Director of Central Intelligence, Mr. Woolsey has been identified with promoting technological innovation in the interest of improving security.
Mr. Woolsey received his B.A. Degree from Stanford University (With Great Distinction, Phi Beta Kappa), and a M.A. Degree from Oxford University, where he was a Rhodes Scholar, and an L.L.B. Degree from Yale Law School, where he was Managing Editor of the Yale Law Journal.
Question: What should be the big issues of the 2008 Presidential election?
James Woolsey: An awful lot of the focus is on cap and trade systems for carbon emissions for global warming. And I support those, but they don’t have any particular impact on oil because we don’t use oil anymore essentially to produce electricity. Only two percent of our electricity comes from oil. And the way gasoline is made and the way the costs filter through, you could have dollars of increases in let’s say a carbon price or a CO2 price, and it would mean just a few pennies increase in gasoline. So carbon taxes or cap and trade systems are not a good way to get at gasoline or diesel as a petroleum derived, … fuel for vehicles. You need to do that in other ways. But one for example, just last week, most of the provisions of the so called Drive Act which were oriented toward getting many more flexible fuel vehicles sooner on the road, and promoting a plug-in hybrid, most of those passed the Senate bill very easily. A lot of people tend to be willing to support those, even though they are very worried about the cost if they have a carbon tax or a carbon cap and trade. How expensive is electricity going to be and so forth. So I think on the vehicles side, on the oil side of this, what politicians say – both the presidential candidates and in the Congress – is on the whole pretty good. It’s not terrific, but it’s pretty good.