Mr. Speaker, I congratulate the member for British Columbia Southern Interior. I am one of those who was here last night and heard the first part of his speech, and I made sure that I was here this morning to hear the conclusion. I certainly found it very stimulating and informative.
I know that he comes from the southern interior of British Columbia, a very environmentally pristine part of Canada with the Kootenays and the beautiful mountains and rivers. I know that it is a very environmentally conscious area.
One of the issues that I suspect is not in this bill because it is a bigger issue, and this is more of a housekeeping type of bill, and one of the things that troubles me, is about the Environmental Protection Act and the way it is applied with respect to the oil sands, for example.
Under the act and under the mandate of the Canadian Environmental Protection Agency, the agency is meant to look at projects incrementally, but the way I see it, many projects are coming on stream and I am not sure that the agency is actually looking at the cumulative impacts of these particular projects. I am not sure that the agency is actually looking at their impacts on the water resources and the Athabasca River basin, at the cumulative impact of CO2 emissions, which will grow and grow over the next little while, and at the impacts of the use, or the misuse, if I might put it that way, of natural gas to bring up the bitumen that has to be upgraded considerably to feed into the U.S. market.
While I understand the need for our U.S. colleagues and neighbours to the south to try to diversify their energy sources, it seems to me they need to understand that there are some environmental issues here, which we need to deal with.
There was an interesting announcement the other day, I thought, with the industry or some agency recommending the need for carbon capture and sequestration. Of course that is what we need to be doing, but it needs to be accelerated. I think there is a role for the federal government, but as for the industry saying that the federal government should bankroll $2 billion to accelerate the development and deployment of carbon sequestration technologies, first of all it is obviously an opening gambit, but I think we should be putting some of these projects on hold until we have solved, at least significantly, the problems of carbon capture and sequestration and also the impact on water resources.
I wonder if the member could comment on that.