In his new book, Taft, who served as a Liberal MLA between 2001 and 2012, and as leader of the Alberta Liberal Party — the province’s official opposition — between 2004 and 2008, maintains his course.
Oil’s Deep State: How the Petroleum Industry Undermines Democracy and Stops Action on Global Warming — in Alberta, and in Ottawa is a controversial read.
Notably the book implicates the Alberta NDP, which was elected in 2015 with promises to challenge the sector’s dominance over political processes. To help explain why that didn’t happen, Taft deploys concepts of institutional capture and deep state — a term used when institutional capture occurs with several different entities and is maintained for a long time.
It’s a challenging and insightful read, one that will likely spark many debates about how we talk and think about the oil and gas sector.
DeSmog Canada chatted with Taft about the book.
What inspired you to write Oil’s Deep State?
When you’re in the middle of action in politics, you don’t necessarily see the bigger picture. You’re fighting the local battles.
After I left politics in Alberta, I was invited to go to Australia to talk about the effect of the fossil fuel industry on democracy, because they have some real concerns there. That prompted me to begin reflecting on my own experience.
Essentially, the book is an account of the collision between the oil industry and global warming, and how democracy is caught in the middle of that.
…click on the above link to read the rest of the article…