Gas Station Takes on Terrorists
A new gas station, scheduled to open on Feb. 1 in Omaha, Neb., has a unique point of differentiation with which to market its business. The station, Terror-Free Oil, says it will only sell gasoline from countries not involved in harboring and/or financing terrorists. In short, it will only sell gasoline from oil supplies in the U.S. and Canada.
Joe Kaufman, spokesperson for the Terror-Free Initiative, a Florida-based group established to encourage oil companies to buy crude from nations outside the Middle East, appeared on The Live Desk with Martha MacCallum on the Fox News channel.
“We know that when we go to the pumps we are sending our hard-earned dollars to a part of the world that wants to see us destroyed,” he told Ms. MacCallum. “We are therefore trying to send a message to the companies that purchase their oil from the Middle East that we are sick and tired of financing our own demise.”
As to the impact the Terror-Free Initiative might have on reducing the nation’s dependence on foreign oil sources, Mr. Kaufman said, “We’re just trying to send that message and we’re saying to the public that they can do their small part as Americans in this war on terrorism by purchasing gasoline from companies that do not get their crude oil from the Middle East.”
Sinclair Oil Corp., Flying J, Inc. and Terror-Free Oil, Inc. are the only brands listed on the Terror-Free Initiative web site that do not sell oil imported from the Middle East. Amerada Hess and Yukos are listed as companies that do not purchase oil from Persian Gulf countries, although Hess is noted for buying crude from Algeria, which is said to be home to the Armed Islamic Group (GIA) and the Salafist Group for Call and Combat (GSPC). The GSPC is said to be a source of recruiting and other support for al Qaeda in Europe.
The Terror-Free Initiative said the Omaha station will not be its last as plans are in place to open other locations. Mr. Kaufman said pump prices at Terror-Free will be competitive with other stations.
Discussion Questions: Will Terror-Free Oil connect with consumers? What do you see as the major pluses or minuses associated with the station’s approach to attracting customers?