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At the Floodgates of Fracking in Illinois in the Battle Over the Climate Change Crisis

For related articles and more information, please visit OCA's Environment and Climate Resource Center page.

What happens in Illinois, doesn't stay in Illinois -- especially when you're dealing with the national ramifications of a combined fracking and coal mining rush unparalleled in recent memory.

As a sit-in movement continues at the office of Gov. Pat Quinn in Springfield, Illinois, besieged southern Illinois residents who have been left out of backroom legislative negotiations over a controversial and admittedly flawed regulatory fracking bill are calling on the nation to contact Gov. Quinn and Attorney General Lisa Madigan to "put a moratorium on drilling to investigate its full climate and health impacts."

Residents are also asking for concerned supporters to call members of Illinois' legislature to vote against a bill that health expert Sandra Steingraber has denounced as unscientific and unsafe.

Over a half century ago, Nobel laureate William Faulkner confronted Southerners who quietly allowed the South to "wreck and ruin itself in less than a hundred years" with segregation and civil rights violations. He begged his fellow Southerners to "speak now against the day, when our Southern people who will resist to the last these inevitable changes in social relations, will, when they have been forced to accept what they at one time might have accepted with dignity and goodwill, will say: 'Why didn't someone tell us this before? Tell us this in time?'"

That time has come to speak now against the day in Illinois -- and the nation is watching.

From water contamination, air pollution to earthquakes in one of the nation's most deadly seismic zones -- conferring with a U.S. Geological Survey, there is already a 90 percent chance that a magnitude 6 or 7 earthquake will occur in the New Madrid seismic area within the next 50 years -- the unleashed fracking rush promises to not only leave southern Illinois in shambles.  

If passed, Illinois' so-called historic compromise of regulatory doublespeak -- hailed by Gov. Quinn as "a new national standard for environmental protection and job creation potential" -- will open the floodgates for similar fracking operations across the nation.

Not only fracking. Unleashed under the same illusory regulatory guise, Illinois is the midst of one of the biggest coal mining rushes and export pushes in the nation.

Illinois is now standing in violation of state law for failing to provide enough coal mining inspectors. How can we imagine fracking oversight will be any different?


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