How Obama's energy agenda has shaped our economy

This is a rush transcript from "Hannity," April 6, 2012. This copy may not be in its final form and may be updated.

SEAN HANNITY, HOST: And tonight for the hour, we have assembled some of the brightest minds of business industry and beyond as we focus how the Obama administration's agenda has shaped our economy over the past three years.

In particular, this special edition of "Hannity" will focus on the issue of gas prices and how rising costs have and will continue to hurt your family.

Now, as frustrating as it has been to fill up your tanks in recent months it has been more frustrating watching Barack Obama both as a candidate and as president as he has tried to downplay the severity of this energy crisis.

For example, on this program, we have been reminding viewers about some of the so called quick solutions that the president has offered for reducing pain at the pump. You might remember these.


PRESIDENT BARACK OBAMA: There are things that you can do individually, though, to save energy. Making sure your tires are properly inflated. Simple things but we could save all of the oil that they are talking about getting off drilling if everybody was just inflating their tires and getting regular tune-ups, you could actually save just as much.

OBAMA: We are making new investments in the development of gasoline and diesel and jet fuel that is actually made from a plant-like substance. Algae. You got a bunch of algae out here, right? If we can figure out how to make energy out of that we will be doing all right.


HANNITY: "President Algae," inflate your tires, get tune-ups. Now, some of those suggestions were made before the president took the oath of office in January of 2009, and if you remember back to that time, you may recall that the average price of a gallon of gasoline was approximately $1.85. Now fast forward only a few years under this president and Americans are paying more than $4 a gallon just a few steps from the White House.

Joining me tonight to explain how we got where we are today is a very special audience, it is comprised of energy executives, business leaders, small business owners, experts alike and many of the faces you will recognize and some of the best brightest smartest, richest in America. The top one percent is right here. Good to see you all. Thanks for being with us.

Herman Cain.


HANNITY: Nine-nine-nine. I'm afraid that might be the price of a gallon of gasoline, soon.

CAIN: That is the Obama 9-9-9 plan, $9.99 cents a gallon.

HANNITY: You just scared all of America, Herman.

CAIN: You know, that's right. But it could be capital formation that we need for energy independence. Let's face it. This administration has done nothing but increase the barriers, regulatory barriers as well as barriers relative to exploration of our resources right here in United States.

HANNITY: Well, Steve Forbes, good to see you. The president says that wait a minute, if you hear anybody says drill, baby, drill, he says, we've been doing that. But yet, leases the ability to drill. Ninety six percent of the increases come from private lands where they haven't been able to control it.

STEVE FORBES, FORBES MEDIA CEO: Yes, it is an election year and he wants you to forget what he has been doing in the last three years, which blocking or hindering the development, whether it is offshore and not having sensible regulations and doing it in an expedited manner, Alaska, Anwar, Arctic National Refuge, been on the table for 20 years. We know there are globs of oil and gas there. He won't allow that to be open to be explored. So, if he could do something or come up with sensible, encouraging rules on fracking instead of dragging his feet, I mean, there is a revolution going on. We could be an energy exporter.

HANNITY: Katrina, you are in the real estate business. Maybe home prices -- isn't much as directly affected by oil. But certainly home buildings impacted, remodeling -- we will talk to Bernie Marcus, Home Depot in a moment, how that might impact it. Maybe not directly, but we look at the housing market, what do we see?

KATRINA CAMPINS, REAL STATE MOGUL: I don't see oil being a big factor when it comes to housing. And in fact, you mentioned, new construction, new construction numbers were actually down in February, and that is what you see in the headlines, but that is not what the full picture. Because the full picture is this. In January, our unit sales 4.63 million and in February, they were 4.59 million. That is not a huge dip, not to mention what analysts are also not telling you, is that that dip is actually based on sales that we saw in November, December and January.

HANNITY: Aren't we in the worst housing market, I see Nicole Petallides is back in the third row there, she's shaking her head. Every indicator that I've read, I read the Wall Street Journal, I read Steve Forbes, says that this is the worst housing market since the great depression.

NICOLE PETALLIDES, FOX BUSINESS ANCHOR: This is a very tough housing market. We just got our latest numbers who show that home prices -- basically the same as they were a decade ago. So, basically, what we're seeing, not only with housing but also with oil, oil affects customers and I think there is a direct relationship with how a consumer feels whether they have confidence, whether they feel that they have money. If you start to see oil rising from gasoline to heating oil and such it really affects confidence and consumer spending overall and that would include homes.

CAMPINS: I don't think it is as big a factor, sorry. But I just think unemployment is the biggest driver when it comes to housing. So, we are seeing the lowest numbers that we've seen in unemployment in the past four years since 2008 and talking about sales numbers numbers

HANNITY: Oh, not since 2008. Because when the president came into office, it was 7.9 percent, it is now 8.3 percent. But I don't even think those numbers are real. Because, all the, you know, if you look at the numbers, we have fewer Americans working than when the President took office, number one. Number two, we don't count people whose unemployment numbers ran out and people leaving the labor force is 1.2 million in the last month and they created 250,000 jobs. And we have 47 million Americans in poverty which we will talk about tonight.

CAMPINS: OK. Because the sales numbers to go back to the point that was just made, the sales numbers if we continue in the upward trend that we are seeing actually in the market where sales in the next five years, I mean it will be the highest sales we have seen in the past five years as far as real estate is concerned.

HANNITY: Let me go to Bernie Marcus because he's in the Home Depot business. And, you know, Bernie, I have a friend of mine in Florida, purchased a house and it is not Tom Monaghan who is my favorite pizza guy, Dominos, I was his best costumer. Paid $350,000 for that house. That house today is worth $150,000. The biggest investment people make is their home. Values have decreased. Is it the worst housing market?

BERNIE MARCUS, CO-FOUNDER, THE HOME DEPOT: It's terrible. The housing market is awful. Listen, when we opened the Home Depot back in 1978, we had this kind of recession going in '81, '82 and the housing market went down in '81 and '82 but it recovered quickly. This market has not recovered. It is still way down. If you go to a Home Depot store typically at 6:00 in the morning, 7:00 in the morning, you will see contractors piled up outside. It is half the amount of contractors today. They are not building the houses. There is no money out there.

And let me talk about oil for a second. That is the biggest regressive tax I have seen in a very, very long time. The American people -- I was at a pump, I was at a pump last week and a woman came up and said, would you just -- I have to go inside really quickly but don't put in more than five gallons, OK. Over and over you see this. People don't have the money. It is taking away their income, their ability to spend money.

STEPHEN MOORE, THE WALL STREET JOURNAL: Why should you be surprised about these high oil and gas prices? This is what Barack Obama told us would happen with his energy policy. Remember when ran for president, he said my energy policies will necessarily mean higher energy costs. He's delivered on that promise.

HANNITY: He did say -- and he did say, he would have preferred a more gradual increase in energy. Well, it's interesting, I paid $5.09 in Armonk, New York, and I tweeted it out. And I have, by the way, for those that are green energy oriented, this is a hybrid, an Escalade hybrid, but it is a hybrid. And $5.09 cents a gallon. That is a lot of money. And who is getting hurt the most here?

MARCUS: It's the people that he talks about. The low income, the medium income. They are getting killed.

MOORE: Look, the point here is, remember, the president thinks that oil and natural gas and coal are evil fuels, so those are the fuels that we have the most of. We have so much oil and natural gas and we, as you said, it is a revolution going on and the president is opposed to those where he is spending billions and billions of dollars on things like Solyndra and things like the wind mills. We get two percent of our electricity from those. So, he is not serious about a real pro-America energy policy.

CHARLIE GASPARINO, FOX BUSINESS NETWORK: There's two debates here, there's debate about oil production, there's also debate about inflating the economy, which obviously the president supports, and that comes down to the fed. If we didn't have zero about percent interest rates, I guarantee oil prices would be lower.

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