Regime of Obstruction: How Corporate Power Blocks Energy Democracy


Course description

In this lecture, we will probe the multifaceted ways in which the organization of corporate power in and around Canada’s fossil-fuel sector blocks a transition from fossil capitalism to energy democracy. In the context of this session, fossil capitalism refers to a form of capitalism ‘predicated on the growing consumption of fossil fuels, and therefore generating a sustained growth in emissions of carbon dioxide’ (Andreas Malm, Fossil Capital, 2015: 11). 'Energy democracy’ refers to a double power shift, from fossil-fuel power to renewables (decarbonization) and from social power concentrated in a corporate oligarchy to public, democratic control of economic decisions (democratization). Corporate control of the production of energy (most of which takes the form of fossil fuel), and the reach of corporate power into political and civil society, pose the greatest obstacles to addressing the ecological and economic challenges humanity faces today.

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