Mr. Speaker, I will be splitting my time with the member for Nipissing—Timiskaming.
I am delighted to speak today to the pipeline safety act. When it comes to energy supply, few countries can match Canada's enormous potential. We are the world's fifth-largest producer of oil, with the third-largest proven reserves; and we are the fifth-largest producer of natural gas, with natural gas resources estimated at up to 1,300 trillion cubic feet. Canada is indeed fortunate to have abundant oil and gas resources. However, as hon. members of the House know full well, to reach our full potential we need more than supply. We need the energy infrastructure necessary to reach new markets. Here is the problem in a nutshell.
While Canada's endowment of petroleum resources is immense, we have only one major export customer: the United States. In fact, nearly all of our oil and gas exports are to the United States. Meanwhile, here in Canada, production from the oil sands is forecast to continue to grow, apart from a temporary slowdown today, from about 1.9 million barrels per day in 2013 to more than 5 million barrels per day by 2035. These two factors—increasing Canadian production and declining American demand—mean that Canada must develop new markets and the infrastructure to reach them, including pipelines.
At the same time, global energy demand is projected to increase by 33% between 2011 and 2035. Massive new markets in Asia are fuelling new energy demands. Non-OECD countries are forecast to account for 93% of energy demand growth, with China and India alone consuming almost half of it. Canada can capably meet that need, as Canadian oil and gas production is expected to grow dramatically over the same period. However, again, without pipelines to move our products to tidewater to reach world markets, Canada's oil and gas will continue to be stranded, and the opportunity will be lost.
That is why it is critical for Canada to build new pipelines to the west, the south, and the east to open up new markets and ensure that Canada is getting top dollar for its energy resources. That is why pipeline safety is also so important.
We recognize that we cannot expand into foreign markets if we don't have the backing of the public. We understand that public safety and environmental protection are necessary conditions for energy development to proceed. Right now, despite what we hear from the other side of this House on a regular basis, Canada's pipelines are among the safest in the world. For example, between 2008 and 2013, 99.999% of oil transported on federally regulated pipelines arrived safely. In fact, the rate of spills on federally regulated pipelines in Canada was 60% lower than in both Europe and the United States over the past decade. Even given these impressive safety statistics, our government believes that it is not the time to be complacent, but rather it is the time for action. It is crucial to keep improving the technology and increasing our efforts to improve safety around pipelines.
We believe that expanding market access and protecting our environment can go hand in hand. Time and again, we have promised that no pipeline project will proceed unless it is safe for Canadians and safe for the environment. With this proposed legislation, we would build on our impressive safety record to make Canada's robust pipeline safety system even stronger.
Strengthening the safety of Canada's pipeline systems focuses on three key areas: prevention, preparedness and response, and liability and compensation.
When it comes to prevention, our goal is simple: to take action to reduce risks and prevent accidents from happening in the first place. This legislation would build on previous pipeline safety measures that increased the number of inspections and audits, and that gave the National Energy Board the authority to levy administrative monetary penalties.
For the first time, we will enshrine the polluter pays principle in law, so that polluters, not Canadian taxpayers, will be held financially responsible for the costs and damages they cause. Pipeline operators will be held responsible for incidents, irrespective of fault, and the National Energy Board will have the tools to take control of a response to an incident if a pipeline operator is unable or unwilling to do so. These costs will be recovered from industry to ensure that taxpayers are protected against any potential costs of cleanup.
We will also ensure that companies operating pipelines are responsible for them throughout their lifetime, from their construction until they are abandoned, including any related costs. To ensure full transparency, documents concerning pipeline safety will be available to the Canadian public.
We are also moving ahead with important measures that will enhance the participation of aboriginal peoples in the development and operation of pipeline safety systems. With the participation of aboriginal people and the commitment to world-class pipeline safety, Canada can harness the tremendous economic opportunities before us.
Ultimately, all of these measures are about the same thing: protecting Canadians and the environment. Emphasizing prevention, responding quickly in the event of an incident and making sure that companies, not Canadians, are liable for any costs, these measures are strengthening our pipeline safety system and making it world-class. This legislation will send a strong signal to the world that Canada is a safe and responsible supplier of energy resources, and that Canada is indeed open for business
Right now, the scale and pace of resources development in Canada remains truly remarkable. Hundreds of major natural resource projects are under construction or planned over the next ten years. This represents a total investment of as much as $675 billion. Over the next 25 years, responsible development of Canada's energy resources is expected to generate literally trillions of dollars in economic activity and hundreds of thousands of jobs.
Huge markets in the Asia-Pacific region and in Europe are ripe for business. We must not let this opportunity pass us by. The bottom line is that opening new markets for our energy products will support our government's top priority, which is creating jobs, growth and long-term prosperity for Canadians.