Aug 202018

Return to  INDEX, Salish Sea

Takeover of our democracy by Big Oil. 

You are invited:  presentation. . .

Kevin Taft, former Liberal member of the legislative assembly in Alberta will be promoting his latest book “Oil’s Deep State“.

He draws on his personal experience as the leader of the official opposition in Alberta to expose the deep influence that big oil has on government decision making.

David Suzuki says “Read the book, get mad, then take action to restore democracy.”    . . .

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(Sandra, addition):   EXCERPT, Wikipedia, KEVIN TAFT (

Post-political career

In January 2012, just before leaving office, Taft published Follow the Money, his fourth book. Research for the book was supported by two economists: Professor Melville Macmillan and Dr. Junaid Jahagir. Drawing heavily on economic data from Statistics Canada, the book challenges the notion that the Alberta government’s spending on public services is far higher than other provinces. Taft shows that total Alberta corporate profits are consistently double or more the rates in the rest of Canada or the United States. In contrast, spending on public services in Alberta is in the normal range, and the government has failed to increase the value of the Heritage Trust Fund.[38] Like its predecessors, Follow the Money topped local bestseller lists.[39] The book was also shortlisted for the Alberta Book Publishers Association Trade Non-Fiction Book of the Year in 2013.[40]

Between 2011 and 2012, Taft, his wife Jeanette Boman, and two other partners designed and constructed a three-home net-zero ready infill residential project in Edmonton called “Belgravia Green”. Boman called it “our one small way of saying we believe that we can make a difference as individuals.” [41] The homes are designed and built with the aim of reducing net energy use to near zero.[42] The homes were built by Effect Home Builders, and one of them won the 2012 Canadian Home Builders’ Association National Green Home Award.[43]

Taft spent 2012-2017 as volunteer chair of a team overseeing the $1.6 million re-development of Belgravia community hall in Edmonton as a fully accessible, multi-purpose, solar-powered community centre.[44]

After his retirement from politics, Taft continues working as an author, consultant, and public speaker while volunteering substantial time in his community.

Latest work (Oil’s Deep State)

In 2014, Taft was invited to spend three weeks at the Whitlam Institute at Western Sydney University in Australia, to write and speak on the effects of the fossil fuel industry on democracy in the context of global warming. In September, 2014, he published the paper “Fossil Fuels, Global Warming and Democracy: A Report from a Scene of the Collision,”[45] in the Whitlam Institute’s Perspectives series.

Developing his ideas further, Taft published his fifth book, Oil’s Deep State: How the Petroleum Industry Undermines Democracy and Stops Action on Global Warming — in Alberta, and in Ottawa, (James Lorimer Publishers), in September 2017.

The book, written for a general audience, draws on numerous sources for a wide-ranging and unprecedented look at the effects of Canada’s petroleum industry on democratic institutions such as the civil service, political parties and academia. His analysis uses theories of democracy and institutional capture to advance a theory of the “deep state,” arguing that the petroleum industry in Canada has captured so many democratic institutions that it has blocked the capacities of the governments of Alberta and Canada to effectively address global warming.

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