Wal-Mart To Develop "Windfarms"
Faced with a saturated market and growing opposition to its ever-larger stores, the Wal-Mart company has set up a new energy division.
"We are always on the lookout for new ways to sustain growth and continue to provide good value to our millions of investors," said Varla Walton, speaking from Cannes last week. Miss Walton has been tapped to head the new division, which is already picking sites for large wind-turbine facilities.
Analysts are positive, citing the company's unrivalled experience in procuring tax breaks and regulatory favors and in neutralizing often well organized and vocal opposition. Wal-Mart shares rose 13 1/4 within hours after the announcement.
Environmentalists also praise the move. "Large-scale wind-powered electricity generation is crucial to maintaining our viability as a thriving organization," said Greenpiece Executive Director of Communications, Public Relations, and Member Services Bill McGivven. "It does mean mowing down the wild mountaintops that are often the best sites for the large turbines, or turning rural retreats into throbbing flashing power plants, but the symbolism is by far worth the sacrifice of a few small communities," he added.
Many "green" organizations are reportedly negotiating partnership or endorsement arrangements with Wal-Mart to help the company's efforts in whatever way they can.