PUMP, a film about America’s love affair with oil
November 12, 2014
Yossie Hollander, producer of PUMP, speaks at screening at Johnson
The Center for Sustainable Global Enterprise recently presented the documentary PUMP to Johnson students, faculty and other Cornell students. Directed by Joshua Tickell and Rebecca Harrell Tickell, PUMP’s main message is that it’s time to move away from reliance on oil and consider alternative fuels. The documentary begins with footage from the late 1800’s when John D. Rockefeller first struck oil. The story then unfolds revealing America’s absolute dependence on oil and the monopolistic market it has created.
The documentary was released in September 2014 and has already garnered interest from the media and academia alike. Oil sympathizers will not be surprised about the image of the autocratic nature of oil companies presented in this documentary. Similarly, the anti-oil believers have been trying to pave the way for alternate fuels for some time now. The directors of the documentary want to reach the consumers, make them think and jolt them into asking questions and bring an awareness regarding the long term “price” for the dependence on oil.
A staggering $380 billion was spent in 2013 on importing oil last year. And if juxtaposed against the dollars spent protecting the military these oil interests in the Middle-East, the US positions itself in a problematic position. Not only is America going to need more oil in the coming years, but it will be challenged with internal conflicts from the Middle-East. Historically, the documentary points out that every time the price of oil went up, markets crashed and recession followed.
Following the film screening, PUMP producer Yossie Hollander, addressed an auditorium and answered questions ranging from the corrosive nature of ethanol to trying to influence the moral compass of oil companies. The answer is not necessarily electric cars or ethanol tanks or biofuels. Hollander does not claim to know the answer. Instead, the documentary explains at length the economic, social and environmental benefits of these alternate fuel sources.
Hollander is also the founder of Fuel Freedom Foundation. Fuel Freedom means that gasoline, diesel, methanol, natural gas, ethanol and electricity compete on equal footing both at the dealership and at the pump. This approach aims to bring down the price of oil to $2 per gallon (and it currently hovers around $3 per gallon). But the true price of oil, according to research organizations, is close to $5.50 per gallon. This will only go higher especially in China and India set to consume most of the world’s oil in the next two decades. Consider this – in 2000, China sold less than a million cars and in 2013 it sold close to 15 million cars.
The message of the documentary ultimately is - open the market and give people more choices. Hollander hopes that through this video, the awareness created will fuel action from citizens. If enough people feel passionate about alternate energies, it could give rise to a petition which in turn could prompt big chain businesses like Walmart and Costco to open alternate fuel pumps at their stores.
Pallavi Rao | Volunteer Staff Writer
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