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The Largest Recorded Oil Spill in History? It was in California

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The damage done by the Gulf oil spill is horrendous, claiming the unfortunate top spot as the worst environmental disaster in American history. Although land spills have very different effects on the surrounding area, ChartBin, via California Watch, reminds us that the largest recorded oil spill actually took place in California in Kern County, L.A. County's northern neighbor. In March of 1909, a well head that blew out, begetting the Lakeview Gusher, and spewed 1,227,600 tonnes of oil over 18 months (yes, it took that long to stop). To compare, the Santa Barbara oil spill of 1969 released 14,000 tonnes into the ocean. Today, numerous agencies regulate oil drilling in California. Also: If the BP Oil Spill was Centered in L.A., It Would Look Like This.

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