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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[…]

Most of the focus is on cap and trade systems for carbon emissions, says Woolsey.

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.

Recorded: 7/2/07