Social Ecology Lecture / IPW Lecture, 28.05.2019

Extractivism, Extreme oil and Pipelines : socio-ecological conflicts in North America

North America is now net exporter of fossil fuels, fracking has transformed the US into a swing producer, able to modify global oil prices by glutting markets. We live in a world awash with oil and gas we cannot burn if we wish to avoid drastic and dangerous climate change. Fracking has also deeply transformed gas markets, normalizing liquid natural gas as a mass energy carrier. The earlier Tar Sands boom, and relative bust, have also reshaped the relationship to hydrocarbons in North America, oil and gas corporations have massively invested in the capacity to discover and capitalize reserves of so-called unconventional oil and gas, they have invested in extractive technologies that limit the impact of low prices on oil and gas production. All these developments have implied massive investment in extractive technologies, equipment as well as in transport, shipping and processing infrastructure. Accumulation rates of extractive capital are so high in North America that debates have surfaced concerning the possible “reprimarisation” of the continent. But this intense accumulation of extractive capital has also sparked numerous socio-ecological conflicts, in particular groups struggling to “keep the oil in the ground” have resisted extractive infrastructure projects all over the continent. Particularly acute have been struggles between first nations and oil and gas companies with transport infrastructure – pipelines – as the main flash points of these conflicts. Our presentation will examine how the capitalist pressure to extract extreme oil and gas develops through the accumulation of extractive capital and how these forces clash with movements bearers of an ecological imperative of transition struggling to limit extreme oil and gas extraction and circulation.

Präsentation: Eric Pineault (Université du Québec à Montréal)

Moderation: Ulrich Brand (IPW)

Kommentar: Clive Spash (WU)

Ort/Zeit: Konferenzraum IPW, NIG 2. Stock, Universitätsstraße 7, 1010 Wien; 28. Mai 2019, 18:30

Die Lecture ist eine öffentliche Veranstaltung, gemeinsam organisiert vom Institut für Politikwissenschaft und dem Institut für Soziale Ökologie (SEC).