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Ring-Billed Gull - Yellowstone River (©2006 by Richard X. Moore)

I’m thinking a lot these days about some friends back in Montana who are suffering the effects of a devastating oil spill on the Yellowstone River. This shot was taken years ago in a park on the Yellowstone, maybe 10 or so miles downstream from where the spill began. By now, the oil probably extends a couple hundred miles downstream, past Miles City. That river moves fast.

The Yellowstone in clearly one of the most beautiful things in God’s Creation, and that goes for ANY God you choose to name. Even though I don’t live in Montana anymore, I’m insulted that Exxon can pour oil all over the river and then act like it’s just an inevitable part of the business. People’s lives have been invaded and the losses won’t be taken care of with anyone’s checkbook, even Exxon’s.

This shot is from September, when the river runs low and is the most beautiful blue-green you can imagine. These rocks are under water right now, but I’ll bet the bank in the background and the riparian vegetation above it are covered in crude.

Seems like we need to re-examine our energy policy, but this will  probably be forgotten by most people before too long, like the BP spill in the Gulf or that more famous Exxon “miscalculation”  in Alaska years ago involving a boatload of crude oil and a drunken captain.

I’m not forgetting. I don’t think you should either.


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