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Canadian pipelines and oil sands by (some of) the numbers

$5.5 billion -- The cost of the Northern Gateway oil pipeline that would transport oil form Alberta to waiting supertankers in Kitimat. Much of this money comes from foreign oil companies.

61 First Nations -- The number opposed to the project as of December 2011. The opposition is characterized in this Global report as "an unbroken wall of opposition" from the U.S border to the Arctic Ocean.* Enbridge claims many First Nations are still interested in partnering.

4,500 people -- How many people want to speak at the Northern Gateway hearings in Kitimat, prompting Federal Minister Joe Oliver to blame "foreigners and radical groups" for slowing down the hearing and project. To which federal Green leader Elizabeth May said, "I know you are but what am I?"

Three days -- The number of days after hiring former Enbridge advisor and Tory strategist as her chief of staff that B.C. Premier Christy Clark came out against said "foreigners."

$30 million -- The amount The Tyee's Andrew Nikiforuk estimates has gone to green groups to oppose the oil sands in the last five years. "That sum is peanuts," he wrote, "compared to $30 billion that foreign companies and states poured into the tar sands over the last decade. Or the $25 million spent by the Alberta government on bitumen propaganda last year. Or the tens of millions spent by the Canadian Association for Petroleum Producers. It's also tiny compared to the amount of annual revenue Ottawa makes from bitumen ($5 billion, according to the Canadian Energy Research Institute) And the $30 million is practically insignificant compared to the $1 billion worth of subsidies granted to oil companies every year by Ottawa's oil addicted libertarians."

Half -- The percentage of Canadians dependent on oil from the North Sea or the Middle East, which some argue is "unethical" oil, at the very moment we're debating whether to build a pipeline to send domestic oil to China, an authoritarian regime.

40 years -- Number of years an informal oil tanker moratorium has been in place on B.C.'s North Pacific coast.

One Empire State Building -- How Dirk Meisner described the size of the supertankers in a recent Tyee report.

US $20 billion -- Compensation fund set up by the U.S. government to cover the remediation costs for the Gulf of Mexico spill. The Exxon Valdez spill, in Alaska in 1989, cost $3.5 billion. Enbridge would have little legal liability in the event of a spill, according to a recent report.

0 guarantees -- Enbridge hasn't guaranteed there won't be an oil spill on land or water, though they emphasize the safety features that will be put in place.

$400-billion -- Norway's pension fund after deciding to disallow oil revenues from adding to general taxation.

One per cent -- Alberta royalties from oil sands development, as Mitch Anderson reported in 2011. The original architect of the Alberta Heritage Fund, which used to save 30 per cent of all non-renewable resource royalties, told the Tyee that the province is being run like a "banana republic" for failing to collect fair rents for non-renewable resources like the oil sands.

340,000 jobs -- The number of Canadian manufacturing jobs estimated lost (in the six years prior to 2009) due to a rapidly rising Canadian dollar. Rapidly rising currency and the loss of jobs in export manufacturing can be a symptom of "Dutch Disease," a national economic ailment that occurs when one resource dominates the economy.

1931 -- The year Thomas Edison suggested investing in solar rather than coal and oil.

Two Oscars -- The number of Oscars won by Robert Redford, a foreigner who opposes the pipeline.

One degree -- The social separation between pipeline opponents and Kevin Bacon, a foreigner who was amazing in the movie Tremors and also opposes the pipeline, according to this report.

Six -- The number of ethical standards former Alberta premier Peter Lougheed says are required to sustainably extract the oil sands. 1) Behave like an owner. 2) Slow down. 3) Get our fair share. 4) Save the money. 5) Clean up the mess. 6) Approve only one project at a time. The Tyee's Nikiforuk suggests ten similar ethical challenges.

Five Tyee webpages -- Places to start combing through our archives for more data like the samples provided above:

Andrew Nikiforuk's reporting and analysis.

Geoff Dembicki's reporting and analysis.

Mitch Anderson's reporting and analysis.

All stories tagged as "energy" related.

All stories tagged as "environment" related.

All blog entries tagged "Labour + Industry."

*Story updated at 11:25 a.m. on Jan. 17, 2011.

-- Geoff D'Auria is the web manager, front-page editor of The Tyee and sometime editor of The Hook, The Tyee's political blog. Contact or tweet him on Twitter @geoffreyd123

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