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Oil Spills: A History Of Disaster (PHOTOS)

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The recent disaster that occurred at a BP offshore drilling site near Louisiana--seriously injuring 17 workers, leaving 11 still missing, and leaking 5,000 barrels a day of oil into the Gulf of Mexico each day--is a tragic reminder of the threat oil drilling poses daily to our citizens and our environment. This latest catastrophe may even end up leaking more oil into our ocean than Exxon Valdez did.

From 1973 to 1990 an average of 11.8 million gallons of oil spilled every year into American waters. Since 1990, that number has been reduced to 1.5 million gallons a year.

The oil industry is no stranger to terrible accidents, and we've compiled a time line with 9 of the worst oil disasters in American history to highlight the consequences of our dependence on dirty fossil fuels. Keep in mind, these are but a fraction of the overall oil-related mishaps that have occurred in the United States.

American Oil: A History Of Disaster
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