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Mobilizing for a Transition: Interview with Iron & Earth

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In the midst of ongoing resource extraction projects, growing climate change activism, and debates about jobs versus the environment, what do oil and gas workers think about the climate?

In a new article, ACT researcher Halena Seiferling interviewed Lliam Hildebrand, founder of Iron & Earth, a new organization of oil and gas workers calling for a shift to renewable energy. She asked about organized labour, capitalism, and how his co-workers are approaching the coming energy transition.

From the article:

Some folks who see the environment as the ultimate priority might conclude that oil and gas workers don’t care about the environment. Do you think Iron & Earth is helping to break down stereotypes around oil and gas workers?

LLIAM: I think a lot of people naturally assume that oilsands workers will defend the oilsands at all costs because that’s where their livelihoods are. That’s not the case. We are incredibly grateful for the work that we have had in the oilsands, and that’s going to be a big part of our message because we are trying to build bridges. We’re not going to be a confrontational organization at all costs. We want to be promoting solutions and what we see in terms of opportunities that will benefit all stakeholders. People might assume that oilsands workers wouldn’t support renewables, but I don’t think the general population of Canada realizes how transferable a lot of our skills are. We can build anything. And renewable energy is large-scale infrastructure; we can build that, and we would rather build that than some more carbon-based infrastructure.

Read more from the article here.

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