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

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FOLLOW THE MONEY

Corporations and billionaires don’t fund journalism like ours that exists to shake things up. Instead, support from readers allows Mother Jones to call it like it is without fear, favor, or false equivalence.

And right now, a longtime friend of Mother Jones has pledged an incredibly generous gift to inspire—and double—giving from online readers. That's huge! Because you can see that our fall fundraising drive is well behind the $325,000 we need to raise. So if you agree that in-depth, fiercely independent journalism matters right now, please support our work and help us raise the money it takes to keep Mother Jones charging hard. Your gift, and all online donations up $94,000 total, will be matched and go twice as far—but only until the November 9 deadline.

$400,000 to go: Please help us pick up the pace!

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