The northwest region of British Columbia, Canada has been at the center of multiple fossil fuel projects over the past decade as corporations have sought access to the coastline in order to export their products. Analyzing the dynamics of how and why groups and communities responded to two specific fossil fuel projects, we address the question: why did the "unlikely alliance" formed at the local level in northwest B.C. to resist the Enbridge oil pipeline project fracture just a few years later in the case of the LNG Canada/Coastal GasLink Liquefied Natural Gas project and pipeline project? We argue that the fracturing arose in part because of historic vulnerabilities of the resource periphery, and the legacy of settler colonial governance but also because state and corporate actors used their powers to increase the financial incentives for communities to support LNG projects, to change the discourse on fossil fuels by promoting the concept of LNG as "clean"energy, deflecting attention from the fracking of natural gas, and to isolate environmental organizations by casting them as "outsiders." The findings contribute to the literature by analyzing the reasons not only for the formation but also for the fragility and fracturing of alliances in contemporary energy politics.
Keywords: Local opposition to fossil fuel (oil and natural gas) projects, alliances, corporate and state actions, clean energy, resource periphery, pipeline fatigue, northwest British Columbia, Canada
How to Cite:
MacPhail, F. & Bowles, P., (2021) “Fractured alliance: state-corporate actions and fossil fuel resistance in Northwest British Columbia, Canada”, Journal of Political Ecology 28(1), p.488-510. doi: https://doi.org/10.2458/jpe.2967
- Northern Communities: Towards Economic and Social Prosperity Research Grant Program
- Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council of Canada