Thank you, Mr. Chair.
It's a pleasure to be joining you all at this committee from the island of Newfoundland, which is the ancestral homeland of the Mi'kmaq and Beothuk peoples, and one of Canada's oil-producing provinces.
The Canada-U.S relationship is like no other. The strength of it has withstood challenges and turbulence, particularly over the past four years.
Make no mistake, though, the U.S. needs Canada. President Biden has emphasized rebuilding and strengthening our bilateral relationship, focusing on our common mission of net-zero carbon emissions by 2050; building a low-emissions energy future that leaves no energy worker and no energy-producing region behind.
It's why the first meeting with a foreign leader was with our Prime Minister, and why we had a high-level summit.
I attended that meeting. My colleagues and our counterparts agreed to follow a road map for renewal, designed to strengthen this relationship; to rebuild our economies while leaving no one behind; and to lead the world in addressing the climate crisis.
Our energy and natural resource sectors are central to that road map. There are no two other countries with such highly integrated energy sectors as ours, with 70 pipelines and nearly three dozen transmission lines crossing the border. There is over $100 billion in energy trade every year and over two million barrels of oil per day. The United States is our single-largest customer.
Now, let me be very clear. We're very disappointed with the President's decision to revoke Keystone XL's permit. We are very unhappy with the decision and we've told the Americans that directly and clearly. The U.S. will still need Canadian heavy crude, and that does not change with President Biden's decision.
Four years ago, in Houston, the Prime Minister said, “Nothing is more essential to the U.S. economy than access to a secure, reliable source of energy. Canada is that source.” It was true then and it remains true today, which brings me to Enbridge's Line 5.
It is a critical energy and economic link. It is vital to Canada's energy security, and to America's. Thousands of jobs, on both sides of the border, depend on it. Thousands of homes, on both sides of the border, depend on it for heating.
We take threats to our energy security very seriously. We raised Line 5 directly with the President and members of his cabinet during our meetings last week. I can assure members of this committee that we are looking at all our options. A shutdown of Line 5 would have profound consequences in Canada and in the United States.
Yesterday, I met with my counterpart, Secretary Granholm, who, I might add, has a link to Newfoundland. In fact, her mother grew up just down the street. I raised Line 5 with her. I raised it as a matter of energy security. I raised it to her as a former governor of Michigan. She understands how critical Line 5 is to that state and to the United States.
I understand Ambassador Hillman will be speaking to this committee later today. Let me take this opportunity to thank her, Detroit Consul General Joe Comartin, the team at the Canadian embassy in Washington, and all our diplomats who defend Canada’s interests every day in Washington, Detroit and Lansing.
There are challenges in this bilateral relationship, involving such things as softwood lumber. Duties imposed are unwarranted; they are unfair; they hurt our workers and they hurt our industry on both sides of the border. We raised that with the President last week.
I believe the windshield is larger than the rear-view mirror because there is more alignment in this relationship now than there ever has been before, not only in terms of the goals of the Government of Canada but also in terms of the goals of the governments of Alberta and Saskatchewan too.
There are opportunities to make this relationship even stronger, and it’s a relationship that is bigger than one project or one piece of energy infrastructure.
Yesterday, with Secretary Granholm, we spoke at length about some of the opportunities that we have to deepen our collaboration and advance transformational technologies like critical minerals and carbon capture. The U.S. wants to work with us on critical minerals because we have 13 of the 35 minerals that they deem essential, and we want to ensure resilient supply chains that prevent Chinese dominance. They want to work closely with us on CCUS, speaking with a unified voice and seeing it as an opportunity to have oil and gas workers lead decarbonization efforts.
The road map for a renewed U.S.-Canada partnership presents us with a plan to protect our highly integrated energy infrastructure like Line 5 and to maintain the security and resiliency of supply chains, like Canadian crude heading southbound.
It is a plan to renew and strengthen existing bilateral agreements on critical minerals and to advance nature-based climate solutions, to harmonize standards and regulations, to increase competitiveness, and to provide an even playing field for our companies.
It's about people. It's about workers and ensuring that no worker is left behind, and ensuring that no energy-producing region or province like mine is left behind. We will need the ingenuity, determination and hard work of our energy workers in our energy-producing provinces to build our low-emissions energy future.
Mr. Chair, as I said at the outset, this is the single most important bilateral relationship for Canada. We've got to get this relationship right, and I should say that we got it right with an unpredictable president over the past four years. We will get it right and make it even stronger with a predictable one for the next four, to the benefit of workers in Alberta, Saskatchewan, Newfoundland and Labrador and right across Canada.
I’m joined here today by my officials: Jean-Francois Tremblay, deputy minister; Mollie Johnson, assistant deputy minister, low carbon energy sector; Glenn Hargrove, assistant deputy minister, strategic petroleum policy and investment office; Jeff Labonté, assistant deputy minister, lands and minerals sector; and Beth MacNeil, assistant deputy minister, Canadian forest service.
We welcome your questions.