2021 Donald-Smiley Prize

Jun 11, 2021 | Donald Smiley Prize

Winner: Angela Carter, University of Waterloo 

Fossilized- Environmental Policy in Canada’s Petro-Provinces (UBC Press, 2020)

Excerpt from jury report: This thoughtful and comprehensive book addresses one of the most fractious and high-stakes political issues of our time: decisions about energy and climate policy. Offering the first subnational comparative analysis of Canada’s oil-producing provinces (Alberta, Saskatchewan, and Newfoundland and Labrador), Angela Carter’s Fossilized documents the increasing dependence of Canadian petro-provinces on carboniferous energy sources and examines the economic, environmental, and political “curses” of oil dependence. Through masterful forensic investigation, Carter attends not only to the historical development trajectories of each province but also places her cases within the larger context of the mounting global pressures of petro-capitalism and the looming climate crisis. As opposed to common narratives that position the “east vs. the west”, Carter reminds us that possessing oil reserves often leads to deleterious economic and political effects on petro-provinces themselves and should not necessarily be regarded as a “kiss of fortune.”  This well-crafted book is a real page-turner and makes a distinctive and timely intervention in on-going and intensifying debates around climate change, environmental policy-making, and natural resource extraction. It will undoubtedly become a central reference point for political scientists studying Canadian energy policy for years to come.