The BP Oil Spill Happened 5 Years Ago Today. We’re Still Paying the Price.

The Deepwater Horizon disaster, by the numbers.

US Coast Guard/ZUMA


The Deepwater Horizon oil rig exploded in the Gulf of Mexico five years ago today, killing 11 men and sending nearly 5 million barrels of oil into the sea. After the well was finally plugged, the national media went home, but the story is still very much unfolding everywhere from federal courtrooms to Louisiana backyards.

Let’s have a look back at the nation’s worst-ever oil spill, by the numbers:

Tim McDonnell

Icon credits (via Noun Project unless otherwise noted): Oil barrel—Marco Hernandez; leaky pipe—Evan Udelsman; airplane—Luis Prado; boat—Kevin Chu; cash—Natalie Clay; eviction—Luis Prado; money paper—Alex Tai; pelican—Jennifer Gamboa; birds—Joe Looney; dolphins—Matthew Hall; oil spill—Andrew Hainen; permit—Luis Prado; oil rig—Patrick Trouvé; tourist—Jerald Kohrs; oyster—RedKoala/Shutterstock

More Mother Jones reporting on Climate Desk

THE END...

of our fiscal year is Thursday, June 30, and we have a much larger fundraising gap than we can easily manage with only days left to go.

Right now is no time to come up short: If you value the hard-hitting, democracy-protecting, justice-advancing journalism you get from Mother Jones, please help us keep charging as hard as we possibly can with a much-needed and much-appreciated donation today.

payment methods

THE END...

of our fiscal year is Thursday, June 30, and we have a much larger fundraising gap than we can easily manage with only days left to go.

Right now is no time to come up short: If you value the hard-hitting, democracy-protecting, justice-advancing journalism you get from Mother Jones, please help us keep charging as hard as we possibly can with a much-needed and much-appreciated donation today.

payment methods

We Recommend

Latest

Sign up for our free newsletter

Subscribe to the Mother Jones Daily to have our top stories delivered directly to your inbox.

Get our award-winning magazine

Save big on a full year of investigations, ideas, and insights.

Subscribe

Support our journalism

Help Mother Jones' reporters dig deep with a tax-deductible donation.

Donate