At a Washington wedding last fall, James Woolsey, the bespectacled former director of the CIA during the Clinton administration, was discussing drag-racing with a ponytailed forty-ish man. Woolsey who works these days as energy consultant, recounted an adventure the previous weekend.
He had been sitting behind the wheel at a stoplight, on a small-town strip highway. Beside him, riding shotgun in Woolsey’s low-slung roadster sat another owlish older man. A teenager in a Corvette pulled up alongside. The teen revved his engine, then turned to smile at his girlfriend. “My car,” Woolsey said, “could only hum back. The light changed and by the time I looked in my rear-view mirror, the kid was a speck.” Woolsey’s quiet car was a Tesla electric that does 0-60 mph in 3.9 seconds, about a second faster than the latest Aston Martin. “I only wish I could see the look on his girlfriend’s face.”
The pony-tailed guest had his own energy-innovation tales to dine out on. A solar guru, he described the recent development of an ink-jet printer that sprays a carbon compound which can turn a normal piece of cloth into solar-energy-capturing material… a flexible, foldable solar panel.
The small-talk at that wedding was typical of the conversation in Georgetown these days, thanks to an unlikely new alliance of advocates for renewable energy and national security strategists. Dubbed The Greenhawks, and led by Woolsey, this coalition consider energy independence a cornerstone of national security strategy.
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