A book looking at the history, science and context of the oil sector has just won the National Business Book Award.
“The Patch: People, Pipelines and Politics of the Oil Sands,” written by Calgary journalist Chris Turner – gives a balanced perspective of Canada’s oil industry.
Turner says the book provides an in-depth, balanced perspective of the sector’s two conflicting views – industrial triumph and environmental concerns.
He notes the book’s timeliness is also ironic, given the Federal government’s investment in Kinder Morgan and its heightened focus on market access.
“The Alberta, B.C., and Federal government are all completely invested on one side or the other in what happens next for the patch. So, I think in a sense, the book’s theme that this is a very big deal and very central to Canadian political life that is born out by the fact here we are, getting more invested with the debate about what we do.”
He says pipelines have become a particular lightning rod for debate since the book’s release.
“It’s one of those things you can either be for or against and there’s no nuance at all and I think because of that, we’re in danger of making some very bad decisions based on the heightened emotion and the political heat of the moment, rather than what’s best for the country.”
Turner adds that while it’s nice to win the award – he’s more appreciative of the lessons readers will take out of his book regarding the misconceptions in industry.