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February 14, 2010

Companies boycotting Alberta

CANADA - International companies Whole Foods Markets Ltd. and Bed Bath and Beyond are boycotting Alberta because of the Alberta tar sands and their continual production of greenhouse gases.

Whole Foods operates 289 stores, including 6 in Canada, and is one of the world's largest food retailers. Bed Bath and Beyond has over a thousand stores in North America. The two companies are encouraging other corporations to pull out of Alberta (or refuse to do business in Alberta).

According to environmental organization ForestEthics the boycott is designed to embarrass tar sands producers and the Alberta government. "At least 30 large U.S. brands are seriously considering taking action to address the brand risk of being associated with tar sands," said Aaron Sanger, a member of ForestEthics.

"Whole Foods and Bed, Bath and Beyond are the first two examples. But we are going to see others. There are conversations of substance happening now with many other well-known, well-respected companies."

The worry for these companies that the public is becoming increasingly fickle when it comes to greenhouse gases, sparking boycotts of products or companies they see as "not being green enough". Thus the wisest policy for these companies is to distance themselves from Big Oil in an effort to maintain their customers.

Alberta Oil accounts for 20% of America's oil imports and thus a sizable portion of American greenhouse gas production. Plus its one of the most polluting ways to obtain oil, resulting in polluted water, dead fish and skyrocketing cancer rates in towns down river from the tar sands.

ForestEthics served notice in writing to more than two hundred Fortune 500 companies six months ago, announcing plans to publicly name companies reluctant to act on the oil sands issue. Companies that don't change their ways will see boycotts organized against them.

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