3.5 percent of U.S. counties consume more than 10 percent of the nation's oil.

America consumes a lot of energy. But there are also counties that play a larger role in this overall consumption — and many of them contain large cities like Los Angeles and Chicago.

Deron Lovaas, the federal transportation policy director for the Natural Resources Defense Council, posted a map charting oil consumption by county on the NRDC staff blog Thursday. The map, Lovaas notes, is the product of a joint research effort of the NRDC, the Sierra Club, and the League of Conservation Voters to identify the most oil dependent locations across the United States. 

Map courtesy of the National Resources Defense Council

The chart below, from Lovaas's post, shows the top ten counties based on gasoline consumption.

Chart courtesy of the National Resources Defense Council

As both the map and list show, oil consumption is geographically uneven and highly concentrated. Lovaas notes that "just 108 counties out of the nation's 3,144, or about 3.5 percent of the total consume more than 10 percent of the nation's oil." Not surprisingly, Los Angeles county had the most annual oil consumption, at nearly 1.9 billion gallons in 2010. Harris county, Texas, follows with 1.7 billion gallons, and Cook county, Illinois, takes third with 1.6 billion.

About the Author

Most Popular

  1. Transportation

    If You Drive Less Than 10,000 Miles a Year, You Probably Shouldn't Own a Car

    Up to one-quarter of all U.S. drivers might be better off using ride-sharing services instead.

  2. Construction workers build affordable housing units.
    Equity

    Why Is 'Affordable' Housing So Expensive to Build?

    As costs keep rising, it’s becoming harder and harder for governments to subsidize projects like they’ve done in the past.

  3. Transportation

    How Seattle Bucked a National Trend and Got More People to Ride the Bus

    Three experts in three very different positions weigh in on their city’s ridership success.

  4. Equity

    The Side Pittsburgh Doesn't Want You to See

    Pittsburgh filmmaker Chris Ivey has spent over twelve years documenting the lives of the people displaced so that the city can achieve its “cool” status.  

  5. Mass Transit

    Could These Crazy Intersections Make Us Safer?

    Dispatches from the imagination of transportation engineers.