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. Downtown Roanoke is pictured.
    Life

    The Small Appalachian City That’s Thriving

    Roanoke, Virginia, has become what many cities of its size, geography, and history want to be. It started by bringing housing to a deserted downtown.

  2. Equity

    The Price Black Voters Paid to Defeat Roy Moore

    Black voters endured waves of voter suppression to help elect Doug Jones to the U.S. Senate, and it didn’t have to be that way.

  3. A maglev train on a test track outside Tokyo. A scheme to build a line between Baltimore and Washington, D.C., has been in the works for years.
    Transportation

    The Battle of the Supertrains

    Promoters are touting two different multi-billion-dollar high-speed projects between Washington, D.C., and Baltimore. Is it a fantasy, or a game changer?

  4. Basel's new streetcar is pictured.
    Transportation

    Switzerland's Border-Busting Streetcar Rolls Into France and Germany

    A new extension makes it the world’s only tri-national tram system.

  5. Environment

    The Story of the Great Lakes in 8 Maps

    The book Third Coast Atlas seeks to illuminate the Great Lakes—America’s “third coast”—through maps, plans, photos, and more.