Cover image for Costly fix : power, politics, and nature in the tar sands / Ian Urquhart.
Costly fix : power, politics, and nature in the tar sands / Ian Urquhart.
Publication Information:
North York, Ontario, Canada : University of Toronto Press, [2018]

Physical Description:
xiii, 364 pages : map ; 24 cm
"Costly Fix addresses core questions about the Alberta oil sands boom that started in the 1990s: Why did this flood of investment pour into the oil sands of northern Alberta? What role has government played with respect to the oil sands rush, and why? Who benefited and who or what has paid the costs of exploiting the oil sands? By analyzing the interest, ideas, and institutions involved in the oil sands boom, Ian Urquart charts its development from the beginning to the present. In this process, we learn about the state's role in making the oil sands profitable, the environmental dimensions of oil sands development, and First Nations' roles in both opposing and supporting the industry. The final chapter examines the extent to which Alberta's new NDP government, in its first eighteen months, altered the legacies they inherited from the Progressive Conservatives on royalties, tailings reservoirs, and climate change."-- Provided by publisher.


Call Number
Material Type
Home Location
338.27282097123 URQ Book Adult General Collection

On Order



Costly Fix examines the post-1995 Alberta tar sands boom, detailing how the state inflated the profitability of the tar sands and turned a blind eye to environmental issues. It considers the position of First Nations, the character and strength of environmental critiques, and the difficulties that environmental groups and First Nations have had in establishing a countermovement to market fundamentalism. The final chapter discusses how Alberta's new NDP government, in its first couple of years, has addressed the legacies they have inherited from the previous Progressive Conservative government on climate change, royalties, and the blight of tailings ponds in the boreal forest. Throughout the book, Urquhart demonstrates that too many actors have done too little to prevent Alberta's boreal forest from becoming a landscape sacrificed for unsustainable economic growth.