This Magazine

Progressive politics, ideas & culture

November-December 2017

REVIEW: New book explores Canada’s oil industry

Inside Kevin Taft's Oil's Deep State

Andrew Reeves

5147E+UOQuL._SX333_BO1,204,203,200_Oil’s Deep State: How the Petroleum Industry Undermines Democracy and Stops Action on Global Warming – In Alberta, and in Ottawa
By Kevin Taft
Lorimer, $29.95

The disturbingly incestuous movement of fossil fuel executives between government, academia, and industry is a rotted and oil-slicked family tree. In Oil’s Deep State, former Alberta Liberal leader Kevin Taft explores the seedy ways that Canada’s fossil fuel industry has captured democratic institutions in Ottawa and across the Prairies. The result, he writes, is the seamless ability of climate-altering industries to parasitize one pillar of our democracy after another, all in a never-ending drive to push pipelines and tar sands expansion. But this democratic stranglehold isn’t preordained. Deep states cement their power in darkness, Taft writes; shine a light and they recoil. Exposing how the sector undermines the environment to further corporate greed, he notes, can restore public faith that energy regulators and governments work for us—not big oil.

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