Feb 9, 2006 (From the CalCars-News archive)
PHEVs 18 lines from the end.
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From The Colbert Report on Comedy Central, February 7, 2006
Welcome back. Tonight's guest was CIA Director under Bill Clinton -- so I'm sure he'll see no problem with me recording this interview and submitting it to the Feds. Please welcome Jim Woolsey [JW]... [applause]
SC: All right, it's "go time" Spook Man -- let's do this... SC: All right, Mr. Spy Master, what's your beef? You've got a problem with something in the world right now... JW: Yeah, I do... SC: What's stuck in your craw? Let's get to it. JW: This war we're in, this terrorist war? SC: Yeah. JW: We're paying for both sides... SC: I'm sorry, go back one more time. The oil is paying for our side, right? JW: Yeah, the oil is paying for our side and the oil is paying for the other side. SC: Ok, go back one more time. JW: We ship about 250 billion dollars a year out to the world to import oil every year... SC: Right JW: most, much of that finds its way back to things like teaching Pakistani kids to hate Westerners in Madrasas in Pakistan, and so forth, through the Wahhabis in Saudi Arabia. So when you pull into the pump, you look in the mirror [and] if you want to see who's paying for the other side of the war as well as our side, you know, just move the mirror so you can see yourself. SC: So you're saying that the money I pay to fill up my stretch Hummer... [laughter] JW: Especially that, yeah [laughing] SC: that that is being funneled through whom? Who does it go to? Walk me through it. JW: Well, it goes to different places in the Middle East, but about 160 billion dollars goes to Saudi Arabia. SC: Yeah, but they're our buddies. You've got Prince, uh, Binder al Saud or something like that... JW: Sorta kinda. SC: The guy who'll hold Bush's hands. JW: Actually the King of Saudi Arabia is a very, very modest reformer -- he's a little bit like, sort of, Kosygin in the Soviet Union, I mean, SC: You lost me. JW: he's someone you kind of have to talk to. But the Wahhabis -- the religious sect? SC: Yeah, right... JW: They really hate you, me, all of us a lot, and they funnel the money to... SC: But we given them our money for their gas, so why do they hate us? JW: Yeah, right, ah... no good deed goes unpunished, I guess. I don't know... SC: Is this the invisible hand of the market they keep talking about? JW: There's a lot about the oil market that's not actually such a free market. It kind of gets orchestrated somewhat. SC: So what do we do? You've called this World War IV, right? JW: Well, I've borrowed that from my friend Eliot Cohen, and what he meant is it's like World War III, which was the Cold War. But one way it's different is that we are paying for both sides -- because of oil. SC: So we're our own worst enemy here is what you're saying? JW: Well, maybe not our worst, but we're one of our enemies. SC: How many of our enemies are we? [laughter] JW: We're a couple or three anyway, I don't know... [joking] SC: Ok a couple or three. But what do we do? We can't do without oil -- we're an oil-based economy: it runs these lights, it runs my car... you know... it runs my snowblower. JW: We'll need it for a long time, but we can start having alternatives. SC: But I mean... alternatives, really? Isn't oil an alternative to, like, solar? [laughter] JW: Well, like say, 200-proof Vodka. That's a good alternative -- it's called ethanol. You can make ethanol out of grasses now, and so forth -- the President mentioned that in his speech -- that's one alternative. SC: Switchgrass, I heard that word turned around a lot. JW: Yeah, right, it's just prairie grass. SC: But what's wrong with just using all the oil up? Shouldn't we just use all the oil up, and then start working on an alternative? Because then, then there'll be a real call for it, right? JW: That's one approach [laughing]. The problem is... as we run out, a larger and larger share comes from the Middle East. So if there are terrorist attacks there, or governments decide they don't like us or something, they can make it very expensive for us. Cut things off even. SC: Ok, now, Bush said in the State of the Union that he is going to try to reduce our dependence on Middle Eastern oil by 75 percent by 2025, OK? Is that the sort of language that pleases you? JW: Ah huh... well, yeah, it's a start. It's a modest goal... it's about three times what we would have gotten from drilling in the Alaskan National Wildlife Refuge, which I didn't think was a good idea, but it would have slightly reduced our oil imports. SC: You're not a caribou-hugger, are you? JW: What I really like up there... are the bears. [show-specific joke, laughter] SC: Yeah... they'll get theirs. JW: Sorry [laughter] SC: Global warming is going to do with their deal on that one. JW: Global warming is going to get them, yeah, I'm afraid. SC: Ok, so, I'm a little con... the Saudis were not happy about what Bush said... JW: I think that's right. SC: So Bush did a little bit of a turn. He said we're going to do it, in that maybe we won't do it... JW: Well, I think he's still... I think two and a half cheers for that speech. SC: On a scale of how many cheers? JW: Three. It's not as fast as I'd like, and it's not as much moving these things into the market. I mean, these alternatives -- like using plug-in hybrids, hybrid cars but with bigger batteries so you can plug them in overnight and drive off cheap electricity. SC: The problem is there that I forget to plug in my cell phone at the end of the day... JW: Well, then, you'd have to use gasoline, cause you've got gasoline in the car... or, hopefully, ethanol. You've got liquid fuel in the tank. SC: But if you roll your car, you can always just stick a straw in it and get hammered waiting for the ambulance to come... JW: Well, that's the idea. One other reason ethanol is really great is for tail-gate parties -- yeah, I mean just a long straw... SC: Just punch a hole in there and put some cranberry juice in the bottom. SC: Ok, we gotta go, but let me just ask you one other question. JW: Yeah. SC: You were Director of the CIA... JW: Yeah SC: Do we have secret prisons in Eastern Europe, and if we do... just continue to sit there. JW: It was before my time. I don't know. SC: What? JW: It was before my time -- I mean, my time was before when this has all come up... I don't know. SC: Ok... if we actually did and you knew, you'd probably say the same thing, right? JW: Probably. SC: Ok, thanks. Loud and clear. James Woolsey [to the audience]... we'll be right back. [end]