An Ode to Yellowstone

appalachian son

On Saturday, January 17, the Yellow Stone River, perhaps the most celebrated aquatic system in North America, was heavily contaminated by nearly 1200 barrels of oil. Al Jazeera America reports the leak’s environmental damage stretches from the river to surrounding farmland in Glendive, Montana.

Particularly, the report tells the story of Dena Hoff, now experiencing tragedy at the hands of the oil industry once again. Al Jazeera notes: “When an oil pipeline burst in July 2011 and poured 63,000 gallons of crude into the Yellowstone River 200 miles upstream from Dena Hoff’s farm … she felt disgusted. When it happened again … she felt terror.”

She felt terror for good reason. Benzene, a carcinogen, made its way into the municipal water system. With the stench of diesel heavy in the air, disaster and uncertainty once again lingered over this small prairie town. It was not until Friday, January 23, that the town’s…

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