This article was written by Janet Donoghue and Brent RitzelWho: Illinois citizens who support a clean & sustainable energy future, and demand an honest government that serves the people and protects our water, air and soil!
What: Statewide day of actions to demand renewables and say NO to fracking. Get attention: plan a direct action or meet with your legislators, write letters, give interviews, hang banners, educate the public! Any action that shows we believe a better future for Illinois is possible and we will not be divided! [see OneIllinois.org for Illinois media contact list, and http://openstates.org/... to contact your state legislators]
When: A one hour action during the day on Monday, June 16th, 2014.
Where: Throughout the State of Illinois. Chicago, Springfield, Normal, Decatur, Marion, Mount Vernon.... you get the picture! Where ever you are!
Why: Because we must tell politicians and industry that deception is not a valid point of view. Illinois is and shall remain united, as one Illinois, we will not be divided by political expediency or industry greed. Our future is as a bright as we want it to be, if we are able to stand together!
In 2014, these same words echo as a rebuke of Rep. John Bradley’s recently failed effort to hoist second-class status upon all the people of Southern Illinois. He attempted to do this by labeling this region a fracking sacrifice zone, open to unmitigated fracking, while attempting to protect Northern Illinois with a two-year fracking moratorium, thus acknowledging its inherent danger to humans.
Just as Lincoln took a stand against injustice during his historic June 16th speech, the people of Illinois now find themselves at a similar crossroads where we must stand together and be united to demand a renewable energy future while calling for a statewide ban on fracking. From Cairo to Chicago, we need you!
June 16th was the date of an important appointment. Five constituents were promised a meeting with their Illinois Representative John Bradley in Marion, Illinois. The meeting was to discuss the transformational potential of renewable energy and share some concerns over confirmed water contamination and health risks associated with fracking. But Rep. Bradley cancelled, and indicated he would not be taking meetings over the summer.
The appointment was set for June 16th at 11:00am. John Bradley has decided not to keep his appointment with the people he claims to represent. In fact, it sounds like he won’t be available all summer. Doesn’t he work for the people?
Why wouldn’t a representative that touts the empty “jobs” promise to justify fracking Illinois be interested in ways that other states are outdoing oil and gas with jobs in renewables and efficiency/conservation measures?
Let’s all stand. A house divided cannot stand. A state divided cannot stand. If we can stand together we can thrive together. Please, take one hour out of your day on Monday, June 16th at 11am or perhaps the lunch hour. You can start an action or find one near you. Let whatever action you take be visible and send a clear message that we have a better future without fracking. Illinois will not be divided. Illinois can be a leader.
The Background Story:Just weeks ago now, John Bradley, the southern Illinois representative that sponsored the original rushed and controversial fracking bill, made a tricky move in attempting to gut the very bill he put in place and to start fracking Illinois immediately! In a move that could be called anything but forthright or transparent, Bradley introduced legislation on the Friday afternoon of the Memorial holiday weekend. When most people in Illinois were preparing for the three-day holiday weekend. The proposed amendments would have completely bypassed the rule making process, which the IDNR still has until November 2014 to complete. The task before the IDNR is impossible. We know there are no rules that can make fracking safe.
Fast acting groups and individuals mobilized on Memorial Day by traveling from all over the state to Springfield while the legislation went through executive committee with a shaky 7 to 4 vote. That set the bill on its way to the house floor. Tuesday morning about 40 people showed up at Representative John Bradley’s Marion office taking a stand against his actions, and demanding a ban on fracking in Ilinois. In Springfield activists made their opposition known by visiting John Bradley’s office and performing a die-in. By early Tuesday afternoon, the legislation was “dead” on the house floor.
Just over a year ago a fracking regulatory bill was pushed through the house with the knowledge that not a single health study regarding the impact of fracking on the people of Illinois had been done. The fracking bill came at a further grave cost. It was a firsthand example of how industry and government work against the majority of citizens. For starters they refused to include the voices and interests of the people that would be most impacted by fracking!
When the draft regulations were released, thousands of people came to the conclusion that the rules did not protect our most precious natural resources, our water, air and soil. All the regulations in the world can’t make fracking safe. A year ago, many of the people of Illinois were unaware of the implications of the fracking bill. They were misinformed by a lot of the coverage and outright lies from industry and government representatives. But the learning curve has been steep for the citizens of Illinois.
In just a year since the legislation passed we’ve barely gone a week without a report of a spill, leak or crash created by oil and gas. Count Lake Michigan as one of the victims. The industry is accident prone, and those accidents have real, sometimes tragic consequences. This year water contamination has been confirmed in four states. There have been landmark lawsuits and decisions that document poisoning and sickness due to fracking. The risks are too great. The greatest assets that Illinois citizens have are natural resources. Our water and air are the most basic, and by far, the most valuable of our resources.
Our representatives are not acting in the best interest of the citizens of Illinois. We cannot let politicians and industry divide us on purpose. We are one Illinois and will not be divided. #OneIllinois