Chart: The BP Oil Spill vs. U.S. Consumption

By Alexis C. Madrigal

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Five million barrels of oil have gushed from BP's blown out well in the Gulf, the government said tonight. That makes it, by far, the largest accidental oil spill in history.

But as this chart illustrates, in comparison with daily American or global consumption, five million barrels is just a drop in the (admittedly enormous) petroleum industry bucket.

Chart: Data from the Energy Information Administration.

[Hat tip to TIME's Bryan Walsh for his tweet reminding me to make this chart.]

This article available online at:

http://www.theatlantic.com/technology/archive/2010/08/chart-the-bp-oil-spill-vs-us-consumption/60828/