From The Maple: In a newly released episode of The Maple’s Great Gilded North podcast series, we spoke to Alberta-based independent journalist Jeremy Appel about his recent article that looks into the prominent oil and gas executives who are working behind the scenes to stymie Canada’s modest climate targets.

  • As Appel writes in his article: “The Canadian Association of Petroleum Producers (CAPP), the main arm of Canada’s oil lobby, has been full-throated in support of expanding Canadian oil production, including the Trans Mountain project, in addition to promoting a more laissez-faire approach to emissions reduction.”

In our podcast interview, Appel explained: “In the later days of (former Alberta premier Peter) Lougheed's reign, and after neoliberalism came to the forefront (in the 1980s) — became the dominant economic ideology where it's just like ‘we need to let the market do everything and then those benefits will accrue to the general population through magic’ — that broader trend led not just to oil and gas companies, but also oil and gas companies, having a lot more influence over our politics, whereas previously, I think the public was able to exert more control.”

"Previously, I think the public was able to exert more control.”
  • More recently, Appel continued, as the devastating impacts of the climate emergency have become impossible to ignore, “the big players in the oil and gas industry sort of play this role, where they're like, ‘yeah, we acknowledge the reality of climate change. Yes, we need to reach net zero at some point in the future, but we can't put a date on it … we can't wind down oil and gas production, we need to build pipelines, but we take climate change very seriously.’ They're more slick in their climate denial. It's a very liberal form of climate denial.”

However, Appel added, in Alberta, where much of Canada’s oil and gas production is concentrated, pushback against “the oil-industrial complex” is gaining momentum.

  • “There has been a lot more vocal criticism of this petro-fascism, that captured Alberta in particular … I do think Alberta is changing, and you see that not just in public discourse, but even demographically, it's an increasingly young population, it's increasingly diverse.”
"I do think Alberta is changing."

Listen to the full episode on Apple, Spotify or Google.

Read Appel’s article here.

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