CSSN Scholar Angela V. Carter‘s latest book Fossilized: Environmental Policy in Canada’s Petro-Provinces, on the rise and environmental costs of Canada’s oil development boom, has won the 2021 Donald Smiley Prize.
The 2021 Donald Smiley Prize is awarded by the Canadian Political Science Association to the best book published in English or French in a field relating to the study of government and politics in Canada.
The book shows Canada as a country out of step with the transition unfolding in response to the climate crisis. For as the global community moves toward deep decarbonization, Canada’s petro-provinces have intensified oil production, intertwining their fate ever more closely with fossil fuel extraction – at great ecological and economic risk.
Thanks to increasingly extreme forms of oil extraction, Canada’s largest oil-producing provinces underwent exceptional economic growth from 2005 to 2015. Yet oil’s economic miracle obscured its ecological costs. Fossilized traces this development trajectory, assessing how the governments of Alberta, Saskatchewan, and Newfoundland and Labrador offered extensive support for oil development, and exploring the often downplayed environmental effects of extraction.
At the height of the boom, these oil-dependent provinces undermined their environmental policies or let them decay to boost production. Angela Carter investigates overarching institutional trends, such as the restructuring of departments that prioritized extraction over environmental protection, and identifies regulatory inadequacies related to environmental assessment, land-use planning, and emissions controls. Her detailed analysis situates these policy dynamics squarely within the historical and global context of late-stage petro-capitalism and growing neoliberalization of environmental policy.
Fossilized reveals a country out of step with the transition unfolding in response to the climate crisis. As the global community moves toward deep decarbonization, Canada’s petro-provinces have intensified oil production, intertwining their fate ever more closely with fossil fuel extraction – at great ecological and economic risk.
This book will be invaluable for scholars and students in environmental studies, political economy, political science, Canadian politics, and geography. More broadly, it will appeal to readers who are engaging with the intensifying debates around oil extraction in Canada.
Link Image Credit: Cropped book cover, all rights reserved by publisher.