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

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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 MotherJones reporting on Climate Desk

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SIX TRUTHS

Reclaiming power from those who abuse it often starts with telling the truth. And in "This Is How Authoritarians Get Defeated," MoJo's Monika Bauerlein unpacks six truths to remember during the homestretch of an election where democracy, truth, and decency are on the line.

Truth #1: The chaos is the point.

Truth #2: Team Reality is bigger than it seems.

Truth #3: Facebook owns this.

Truth #4: When we go to work, we're in the fight.

Truth #5: It's about minority rule.

Truth #6: The only thing that can save us is…us.

Please take a moment to see how all these truths add up, because what happens in the weeks and months ahead will reverberate for at least a generation and we better be prepared.

And if you think journalism like Mother Jones'—that calls it like it is, that will never acquiesce to power, that looks where others don't—can help guide us through this historic, high-stakes moment, and you're able to right now, please help us reach our $350,000 goal by October 31 with a donation today. It's all hands on deck for democracy.

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