Hannity on PUMP: A story ‘America needs to know’

Sean Hannity is a big fan of the message contained within the documentary film PUMP, because it’s one he’s been promoting himself for years.

The conservative radio and Fox News host welcomed Fuel Freedom chairman and co-founder Yossie Hollander and board adviser John Hofmeister on “The Sean Hannity Show” on radio Thursday.

Hannity primed the pump for PUMP’s theatrical release Friday with this introduction:

“How many times have I said on this program that oil, energy, is the answer to all of our problems? I’ve said it so often. Well, now there is an eye-opening documentary that I want you to go see. … I have no [rooting] interest in this movie, except that it tells the story that I have been trying to tell you now for such a long period of time about America and how we can become energy independent, about how there’s a lot going on in the oil industry, where we all pay more. How we are all dependent on oil from countries, many of whom just kind of hate our guts. And it’s been put together in a fabulous documentary that is now gonna be released in movie theaters around the country [Friday].

“Right now today gasoline’s our only option for transportation, but that doesn’t need always be the case. There is the possibility of using natural gas to fuel our automobiles and our trucks and cars … there are so many alternatives out there that it’s just amazing, and I think it’s a story that America needs to know.”

You can listen to the radio segment here.

It was a busy day for Fuel Freedom at the Fox studios:

  • Hannity also interviewed Hollander and Hofmeister during a shorter segment on his popular Fox News TV show. Watch it here.
  • Hofmeister and Fuel Freedom’s Ann Norman (a PUMP producer) appeared on Fox Business. Watch here.

PUMP, which opens in New York and Los Angeles on Friday, and other cities in succeeding weeks (check out PumpTheMovie.com for cities and show times), methodically tells the story of how the oil monopoly was created, and what we can do about it. Fuel Freedom Foundation produced the film as part of its message promoting fuels like ethanol and methanol, which can be processed from natural gas, as cheaper, cleaner replacements for gasoline.

Hofmeister, the former president of Shell Oil Co. and one of the biggest stars of PUMP, has been a frequent guest on Fox. On radio Hannity asked him a couple times how much the United States has in natural-gas reserves.

“What we have, Sean, is plenty,” Hofmeister said. “We don’t actually know how much natural-gas reserve we have. The Energy Information Agency of the Department of Energy is always behind on the number. Because we have so much we keep finding more. We go deeper we find more. We develop new technology we produce more. When it comes to oil we have a similar situation: We keep finding more, we go deeper, we find more. We have technology, we get it out.

“I think we’re looking at 2050 and beyond, easily. Easily.”

Hollander noted that the key issue isn’t how much oil and natural gas the nation potentially has for domestic production, but how expensive it is to extract.

“Because let’s say if you want to drill in the Arctic, it’s maybe possible, but we know that the lifting costs are way over $100. So the issue is a lot of time, how much it costs to lift it up. The question is not really how much oil we have today at $90 or $100 a barrel [the going rate for crude on the international market], it’s how much oil we have at $50, $60 a barrel. That, we don’t have that much. But we have a lot of natural gas, which is way, way cheaper. And if we can transform that natural gas into the oil and transportation market, then the prices will go down.”

Because oil is an internationally traded commodity, the oil boom going on in North Dakota and Texas — made possible by modern extraction technology, including fracking — hasn’t dramatically lowered the price consumers pay at the pump.

But the boom has created thousands of new jobs. If the transportation-fuels market were diversified to allow ethanol and methanol to compete with gasoline, the demand for natural gas would swell substantially. That would create even more jobs as companies built refineries and pipelines, and expanded the retail distribution network.

“So we’re looking at a whole infrastructure build-out that we’ll spend billions … not taxpayer money, not a penny of taxpayer money,” Hofmeister said. “This is all private investors who are gonna earn a return on their investment, create jobs, good-paying jobs. And as people know in the oil patch, jobs are risky, so they pay a lot more money.”

Hollander and Hofmeister were joined by Jim Arthaud, CEO of North Dakota-based MBI Energy Services. He has hired many Hannity listeners to work at the company, as part of Hannity’s Get America Back to Work campaign. Arthaud called the potential market for ethanol-from-natural gas “exciting” but acknowledged that stronger consumer demand is needed to give drillers an incentive to extract it.

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