Oil's Deep State: Does the Petroleum Industry Undermine Democracy?

February 15, 2018 :: Dr. Kevin Taft
Moderated by Daan Smit

For all the wealth they potentially possess, Alberta’s vast petroleum reserves have arguably been badly mismanaged since the early 1990s both in terms of collecting proper royalties and environmental sustainability. Even some of the industry’s biggest promoters have conceded that the laborious extraction of oil from sand and clay has left the province’s economic fortunes in an unreliable economic situation, not to mention the resulting ecological degradation that bitumen mining causes.

The speaker will argue that the revolving door between cabinet tables and the corporate board rooms, since Ralph Klein became Premier of Alberta, effectively allowed the oil industry to dictate public policy and thereby undermine the democratic process. He will also speculate on whether or not Alberta’s fortunes can improve with Premier Rachel Notley’s NDP Government promoting pipelines and implementing a tax on carbon as a way of taking action on climate change and environmental issues.

Speaker: Dr. Kevin Taft

Kevin Taft is delighted to return to Lethbridge to speak at SACPA. Kevin is the author of five books, including Oil’s Deep State, published in 2017. Taft served three terms in the Alberta legislature with the Alberta Liberal Party, and was Leader of the Official Opposition from 2004 to 2008, through two general elections.

Prior to entering politics he had a long career working in public policy in the Alberta government, the non-profit sector, and the private sector. He has a PhD in Business from University of Warwick and is a distinguished research fellow at the Parkland Institute at the University of Alberta, and served as a visiting fellow at Western Sydney University in Australia. Taft grew up in Edmonton, where he and his wife still live. He is no longer involved in party politics, and is a frequent public speaker.

Moderator: Daan Smit

Date: Thursday, February 15, 2018
Time: 7:00 – 9:00 pm
Location: Room PE261, First Choice Saving Centre, University of Lethbridge

Co-sponsors for this free event are U of L’s Political Science Department and Southern Alberta Council on Public Affairs (SACPA) www.sacpa.ca and the University of Lethbridge.

Parking is free and everyone is welcome. U of L’s book store will be selling Kevin Taft’s newest book, Oil’s Deep State at this event.

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