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. Equity

    How Poor Americans Get Exploited by Their Landlords

    American landlords derive more profit from renters in low-income neighborhoods, researchers Matthew Desmond and Nathan Wilmers find.

  2. A photo of the interior of a WeWork co-working office.
    Design

    WeWork Wants to Build the ‘Future of Cities.’ What Does That Mean?

    The co-working startup is hatching plans to deploy data to reimagine urban problems. In the past, it has profiled neighborhoods based on class indicators.

  3. An illustration of a private train.
    Transportation

    Let’s Buy a Train

    If you dream of roaming the U.S. in a your own personal train car, you still can. But Amtrak cuts have railcar owners wondering if their days are numbered.

  4. Design

    Cities Deserve Better Than These Thomas Heatherwick Gimmicks

    The “Vessel” at New York’s Hudson Yards—like so many of his designs—look as if the dystopian world of 1984 has been given a precious makeover.

  5. How To

    Want Solar Panels on Your Roof? Here's What You Need to Know

    A handy reference for navigating an emerging industry.