Oil Spill

The Exxon Valdez spill in Alaska was the worst oil spill in American history. It recently made news again as Exxon refused to pay the fine after 19 years.

But did you know that even though 11 million gallons of crude leaked when the Exxon Valdez ran aground, it was actually only the 34th largest oil spill in history?

EnviroWonk has the list of the top 10 oil spills, all much, much larger than the Exxon Valdez.

For example:

1 Kuwait – 1991 – 520 million gallons
Iraqi forces opened the valves of several oil tankers in order to slow the invasion of American troops. The oil slick was four inches thick and covered 4000 square miles of ocean.
2 Mexico – 1980 – 100 million gallons
An accident in an oil well caused an explosion which then caused the well to collapse. The well remained open, spilling 30,000 gallons a day into the ocean for a full year.


As long as we’re dependent on the stuff, there will be accidents, as there were three in 2007 alone, one of over 3 million gallons of oil.