Richard Florida is a co-founder and editor at large of CityLab and a senior editor at The Atlantic. He is a university professor in the University of Toronto’s School of Cities and Rotman School of Management, and a distinguished fellow at New York University’s Schack Institute of Real Estate.
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.