Alberta Prosperity Project Hosts Oil Sands Defender Alex Epstein
The APP celebrates the launch of their “Drilling For Prosperity” initiative by hosting philosopher and fossil fuel advocate Alex Epstein, at the Westin Calgary Airport.
Alex Epstein: “Canada is depriving itself of this incredible opportunity to produce energy and power the world.”
On Friday, October 28th, the Alberta Prosperity Project, hosted an event at the Calgary Westin Hotel to celebrate its new initiative, “Drilling for Prosperity.” The Alberta Prosperity Project is an educational organization focused on educating Albertans about the need for a referendum for Alberta’s independence from Canada and is dedicated to helping make the province more prosperous by supporting industries such as oil and gas.
The event featured keynote speaker, Alex Epstein, who is an American author and expert in the fossil fuel industry. In an interview before addressing the crowd, Epstein explained, “Canada is depriving itself of this incredible opportunity to produce energy and power the world… It has been sad the extent to which so many Canadian leaders have been weak on this issue.” He added, Albertans need to “very proudly crusade for a world of energy-abundance, and you guys should be an energy leader.”
Prior to the speaking portion of the event, guests enjoyed cocktails, beef on a bun, and beer samples from Toolshed Brewing. Alberta Prosperity Project merchandise was also available for purchase, including sweaters, hats, and even crib boards.
Following food, drinks and conversation, the main event commenced at 7:00 pm. The talks began with Dr. Dennis Modry, the CEO of the Alberta Prosperity Project, addressed the crowd by expressing his gratitude for their attendance and support. He also announced the APP’s new initiative, “Drilling for Prosperity”, which is aimed at educating the public on the importance of the oil and gas industry in Alberta.
Modry also showed the audience a video of Danielle Smith calling Modry and the APP the “or else,” when asked by Ezra Levant, CEO of Rebel News, how far she would be willing to go to protect Alberta’s future, and if she had an “or else” in mind. Rigorous cheers, applause, and whistles erupted from the tables. The statement was made at a UCP Leadership Debate hosted by Rebel News and APP on August 25.
Michael Binnion, president of Questerre Energy and founder of Modern Miracle Network, was the next to speak. He offered a short presentation that exposed how the development of oil and gas reserves in Canada have been stifled by non-governmental organizations in the field of environmentalism (ENGOs). Michael set the stage for the highly-anticipated start of Epstein’s presentation.
Epstein proved to be an engaging speaker, asking the audience questions, and inserting videos, charts and graphs into his delivery. His talking points on the necessity of increased fossil fuel production to support global human flourishing received strong support from the Albertan crowd; an unsurprising reaction from a region with a fossil fuel-driven backbone.
After dissecting his arguments – available on energytalkingpoints.com and in his two books – Epstein received a standing ovation from the crowd, but the night didn’t end there. To wrap up the event, Modry and Epstein sat down for a Q&A portion, answering audience-submitted questions.
Questions from the crowd focused on where to get more information in order to educate others, the reasons for the cultural shift away from “oilfield pride” to “oilfield shame,” and how to reverse such a movement.
To close, Epstein was gifted an APP shirt and hat from Modry and other members of the organization to mark the move from the speaking portion of the night to the more casual socialization portion.
The 450 guests enjoyed the event and each expressed a range of knowledge and interest in the APP and keynote speaker. For some, it was the chance to hear the talking points on the need for a robust fossil fuel industry; for others, the opportunity to stand in solidarity with those vying for more independence for the province.
For Mike Picard, from Canmore, Alberta, it was a combination. He said what makes the province great is in danger of being left behind. “In the past, the optimism, the economic growth and entrepreneurial spirit of the place” was a keystone of the region. But, he adds, “I’m less optimistic about the prospects for the province.” He attended the event with colleagues in order to support the ideals of freedom, prosperity, and loosening the federal leash on Alberta.
Seth, a young man from Okotoks, was noticeably younger than many of the attendees, an observation he hopes will change with the growth of the movement.
“The youth, they’re not paying attention to politics,” he said with a shake of his head. “It all comes [down] to media. They’re never getting the right information. So they never know what the truth actually is.”
Seth adds efforts like Instagram marketing could be a way to reach members of younger generations with APP’s ideas.
Christopher Scott, of the Whistle Stop Café in Mirror, Alberta, was also in attendance and livestreamed the event to his followers. He was accompanied by his podcast co-host, Kerry Lambert, who emceed the event in a star-studded suit.
Canadian investment banker, businessman, investor, philanthropist and panelist on season 3, 4 & 5 of CBC Television’s Dragons’ Den, W. Brett Wilson was in attendance.
Brett Wilson, a self-professed friend of Epstein, said he purchased a table of tickets as soon as he heard about the event. The Saskatchewan-born entrepreneur said he appreciated the in-depth nature of the function.
“Often, speakers get brought in and they are the afterthought for events, so they give a 20 minute speech… and 10 minute Q&A. This was great.”
Already familiar with Modry and the team at APP, Wilson said the ideals touted by the organization resonate with him.
“I suspect I’ll spend the 20 bucks on a membership,” he said.