BP Spill Officially Worst In US History

Now that we know that the BP’s gushing well has likely dumped somewhere between 18.6 million and and 39 million gallons of oil into the Gulf of Mexico, the disaster certifiably tops the list as the worst in US history, eclipsing the Exxon Valdez.

It may even make it to the ranks of the worst oil spills in human history. Exxon Valdez didn’t even make that list; as bad as that was, there have been 33 larger spills around the would. The idea that this Gulf spill might not even qualify for that list is perhaps the most scary prospect.

EnviroKnow’s Josh Nelson put together a chart showing how this spill stacks up to the other notable oil incidents of the past:

If you appreciate our BP coverage, please consider making a tax-deductible donation.

DOES IT FEEL LIKE POLITICS IS AT A BREAKING POINT?

Headshot of Editor in Chief of Mother Jones, Clara Jeffery

It sure feels that way to me, and here at Mother Jones, we’ve been thinking a lot about what journalism needs to do differently, and how we can have the biggest impact.

We kept coming back to one word: corruption. Democracy and the rule of law being undermined by those with wealth and power for their own gain. So we're launching an ambitious Mother Jones Corruption Project to do deep, time-intensive reporting on systemic corruption, and asking the MoJo community to help crowdfund it.

We aim to hire, build a team, and give them the time and space needed to understand how we got here and how we might get out. We want to dig into the forces and decisions that have allowed massive conflicts of interest, influence peddling, and win-at-all-costs politics to flourish.

It's unlike anything we've done, and we have seed funding to get started, but we're looking to raise $500,000 from readers by July when we'll be making key budgeting decisions—and the more resources we have by then, the deeper we can dig. If our plan sounds good to you, please help kickstart it with a tax-deductible donation today.

Thanks for reading—whether or not you can pitch in today, or ever, I'm glad you're with us.

Signed by Clara Jeffery

Clara Jeffery, Editor-in-Chief

We Recommend

Latest

Sign up for our newsletters

Subscribe and we'll send Mother Jones straight 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

Share your feedback: We’re planning to launch a new version of the comments section. Help us test it.