Terror-Free Oil Initiative Divides Retailers Based on Oil Supply

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Terror-Free Oil Initiative Divides Retailers Based on Oil Supply

CORAL SPRINGS, Fla. -- An organization located here plans to "expose" gas retailers selling gas that originates from Middle Eastern oil, and encourage consumers to buy gas from countries that do not export or finance terrorism, according to the group's Web site.

Called the Terror-Free Oil Initiative, the Web site names a long list of retailers that sell gasoline with origins from the Middle East, listing them under the header "Companies that finance terrorism by importing oil from the Middle East," which include, but are not limited to:

-- ConocoPhillips
-- BP
-- Valero
-- Chevron
-- Shell
-- Circle K (ConocoPhillips)
-- Cumberland Farms (ExxonMobil)
-- ExxonMobil
-- Getty
-- Lukoil
-- Gulf
-- Marathon
-- Murphy Oil USA
-- Pilot (Marathon)
-- Sheetz
-- Speedway SuperAmerica (Marathon)
-- Sunoco
-- Tesoro
-- Texaco

The Web site provides links to other pages that show the companies' involvement in the Middle East, including the Energy Information Administration's Web site and company Web addresses.

Next to the list, two much shorter lists include gas retailers that do not import oil from the Middle East and Persian Gulf. Those companies include Amerada Hess, Yukos, Flying J, Sinclair Oil and Terror-Free Oil, Inc., the company's own brand of gas station that will be opening in February.

It also supplies a list of retailers that are currently being researched. Convenience retailers on the list include QuikTrip, Casey's General, Holiday Stationstores, Kum & Go, Pantry, Speedway, Wawa, Thornton Oil and 7-Eleven, among others.

The Web site also is home to a blog that posts recent news articles concerning alternative energy, ethanol and Middle Eastern oil and the war on terror. It also sends out an email newsletter on the initiative and articles from the group's spokesman, Joe Kaufman.

The group will open its first "Terror Free Oil" gas station Feb. 1 in Omaha, Neb., with a grand opening celebration on Feb. 12. The station's goal is to supply consumers with petroleum products from countries that do not support terror, the Web site states. According to published reports, more gas stations will follow.

"From a business perspective, it's kind of a neat way to differentiate yourself from the competition. To me, that sounds an awful lot like what we in environmental economics refer to as eco-labeling. For example, when you purchase a can of tuna with a symbol that there was no harm to dolphins to catch the tuna," Chris Decker, professor of economics with the University of Nebraska-Omaha, told KETV, an Omaha news station.

While the red, white and blue color scheme got driver Mary Ann Buscher's eyes, she said it was unlikely it would get her money. "I wouldn't go out of my way to go there, probably. No, I wouldn't," she told the news station.

According to an ongoing poll on the Web site, 71 percent of Web site visitors would make an effort to purchase fuel at Terror-Free Oil gas stations and 8 percent answered that they were unlikely to purchase gas there or would not. As of press time, there have been 7,010 votes. Another poll revealed that 50 percent of almost 10,000 voters would drive more than 5 miles to get fuel that did not originate in the Middle East.