Five years after the BP’s Deepwater Horizon drilling rig blew up, killing 11 workers and dumping nearly five million barrels of oil into the Gulf of Mexico, Climate Desk and Grist are out with an infographic that tell the story of the incident.
The 18 numbers in the infographic include:
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- 87 long, long days that the well was out of control
- 8 million gallons of oil spilled
- 9,000 ships used in the cleanup, with as many as 47,000 responders at work on a single day
- $29 billion paid out by BP
- 800,000 birds and up to 1,000 dolphins killed in the spill
- Economic losses of $173 million in the Gulf fishery and $691 million in tourism
- Up to 26 million gallons of oil still on the sea floor, 1,512 Gulf drilling permits issued since the spill, and zero new federal laws enacted in the U.S. to restrict offshore drilling.
Meanwhile, “people of color and humble income were often left out of the frenzy of economic activity generated by the emergency response and recovery efforts,” writes Grist Justice Editor Brentin Mock. Of the government contracts let for charter transportation, hazmat training, legal consultation, scientific studies, housing, food, technology, and equipment in the four months after the spill, only 3.5% went to small, disadvantaged businesses.
“Of 410 vendors, only five were African-American owned. Nine were Latino-owned,” Mock writes. “This, despite the fact that the Gulf states had (and still have) the highest concentrations of African Americans and black-owned businesses in the country, and some of the fastest rising Latino populations.”
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