Wednesday, September 22, 2010

Satya Das & Ezra Levant Square Off Over Oil Sands at LitFest.

The Edmonton Litfest is all about non-fiction literature and promises to be great event this year.  One of the highlights for Albertans will be a presentation of differing views about the Alberta oil sands by Satya Das the author of Green Oil-Clean Energy for the 21st Century and Ezra Levant the author of Ethical Oil.
Satya Das
Ezra Levant

Full disclosure I am the publisher of Green Oil and Satya is a long time friend and my business partner. I have purchased but not yet read Ezra's book...but I will soon. I have read a considerable amount of media on the Levant book and was at a dinner meeting with Danielle Smith, the leader of the right-wing Wildrose Alliance Party last Monday and she repeated the premise of Ethical Oil in her presentation.  That being while we in Alberta may be dirty oil providers from the oil sands, compared to the alternative suppliers we are, on the whole, a much better ethical option for American fossil fuel needs.

I whole heartedly agree with Ezra's premise and have in fact posted a blog giving some free advice to Premier Stelmach in his recent meeting with US House Speaker Nancy Pelosi.  I suggest the American political interference in the middle east, the dishonest premise to start the Iraq for example is about US taking "blood oil" relative to our "dirty oil."

Where I think Ezra and Das (and I) would part company is while the premise is Ethical Oil is well founded it is insufficient to fix the problem of our so-called "dirty oil."  I don't think the ethical arguments gets Albertans, as owners of the oil sands, off the hook...and we know it.  We need to develop our oil sands with a higher ethical bar than we are the best of a bad lot.  We know from our conjoint research done in conjunction with the Oil Sands Research and Information Network at the University of Alberta that environmental stewardship is the driving ethical values Albertans what to see guide and drive our oil sands development.

Creating prosperity without an integration of habitat protection, set standards for land, water and air quality, reclamation assurances to support on-going biodiversity and a focus on fixing the carbon footprint of development we are not really ethical oil.  We expect more or ourselves than just being socially better and more secular than Saudi Arabia.

So come to Litfest on October 19 at the Stanley Milner Library Theatre to hear and participate in the Das-Levant discussions on the future development of the oil sands.  The full Litfest program and ticket info is available at Tix on the Square:

Advance Passes and Individual Event Admission Tickets on sale now from Tix on the Square,online or by phone 780.420.1757 or Toll Free 1.877.888.1757.  (Address - 9930 102 Avenue). 

As a publisher let me suggest you buy the books and read them before hand.  You can get them in better book stores in Edmonton.  Green Oil is also available as a download from

If you want a progressive political culture in the Next Alberta register now for RebootAlberta 3.0 at