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'PUMP': The Film Setting Out to 'Change Your Attitude About Fuel Forever'

In PUMP, aerospace engineer Dr. Robert Zubrin lights both gasoline (left) and methanol on fire in his lab, demonstrating how gasoline spews soot and other toxins into the air, while methanol burns cleanly and efficiently. | Image credit:

A provocative new documentary called PUMP, produced by Submarine Deluxe, in association with Fuel Freedom Foundation and iDeal Film Partners, is opening in limited release next week.

Directed by Joshua Tickell and Rebecca Harrell Tickell, and narrated by Jason Bateman, the film “tells the story of America's addiction to oil, from its corporate conspiracy beginnings to its current monopoly today, and explains clearly and simply how we can end it — and finally win choice at the pump.”

The movie, which was declared “a must see movie that jump-starts an important conversation about the crippling costs of our oil addiction,” by Peter Lehner, executive director of the National Resource Defense Council (NRDC), features interviews, ideas and solutions from top energy experts including Elon Musk, CEO of Tesla Motors; David Blume, author, biofuels pioneer and CEO of Blume Distillation; John Hofmeister, former president of Shell Oil US; Peter Goldmark, former president of the Rockefeller Foundation; and many other industry, political and environmental leaders.

“The devastating environmental impact of continued fossil fuels usage, combined with the ever-rising cost of extraction continues to focus global attention on the need for a fundamental transformation to a zero emission, locally produced, low-cost and renewable replacement fuel,” Blume said in a recent statement. “In a very accessible way, PUMP the movie helps explain how right now we have the ability to change our energy future and how we can all easily help end our oil addiction, change the rules of the game and open the market to cleaner, cheaper, American-made fuels.”

"If we rely upon our own domestic production of crude oil to try to produce enough, we’ll die trying. We can’t do it," Hofmeister says in the film.

For the most part, fossil fuels remain our only option for transportation fuel; our over-reliance on it has drained our wallets, increased air pollution and sent our citizens to war in faraway lands. The filmmakers’ goal is to highlight how, through the use of a variety of domestically produced alternative fuels, we will be able to fuel up more cheaply and cleanly — and in the process, create more jobs for a stronger, healthier economy here at home.

A series of events, appearances and discussions will be held across the country to promote the film’s release — Blume will appear at several, beginning September 19 in Los Angeles.

Dan Braun, Submarine's co-president, stated, "We are proud and excited to be working with Fuel Freedom, iDeal Partners, and Josh and Rebecca Tickell on PUMP, a film that contains revelations that we believe could actually change perception and ingrained behavior. We are looking forward to opening up the dialogue on this timely and important subject."

While fossil fuels will continue to dominate the market for years to come, advancements in alternative fuel viability and infrastructure are coming along nicely: Companies in the automotive and aviation industries are making headway on the development of biofuels derived from everything from algae to sugarcane to tobacco; and just last week, the US’ first commercial-scale biofuel plant opened in Emmetsburg, Iowa — at full capacity, the facility will convert 770 tons of corn waste (leaves, husks and stalks) per day to produce ethanol at a rate of 20 million gallons per year, later ramping up to 25 million gallons per year.

Launched in 2006, Sustainable Brands has become a global learning, collaboration, and commerce community of forward-thinking business and brand strategy, marketing, innovation and sustainability professionals who are leading the way to a better future. We recognize that brands today have… [Read more about Sustainable Brands]

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