CHICAGO - Emboldened by the November elections, Environment Illinois is ready to shut down any attempt to access one of the nation's largest natural gas reservoirs in Illinois. Max Muller, the group's top environs activist went into action promoting legislation to restrict tapping into the energy source via SB 3280. Such a moratorium would doom natural gas-rich Southern Illinois' already nearly-collapsed coal industry and the area's devastated economy:
As you read this, the oil and gas industry is getting ready to start fracking here in Illinois.
In other states this dirty gas drilling process has already brought a staggering array of threats to our health and environment. Toxic laden-fluids and wastewater contaminate the water, air pollution makes families sick, and drilling rigs turn rural landscapes into industrial zones. We have got to get Springfield to stop fracking pollution before it starts here.
Here's how high-volume fracking (or "hydraulic fracturing") works. Drilling operators pump roughly a million gallons of water, sand and a cocktail of chemicals down a gas well at such high pressure that it fractures the rock and releases the gas within it. Wastewater flowing back to the surface is contaminated with toxic substances such as benzene, corrosive salts and even radioactive material.
The result? Millions of gallons of toxic chemicals and wastewater from fracking have polluted drinking water sources from Pennsylvania to New Mexico. Do we really want this new "drill baby drill" in Illinois?
Don't let Illinois become another home to the environmental and health impacts of this dirty and destructive drilling practice. With fracking exempt from most key federal environmental laws, and a track record of harm in other states, Illinois needs a moratorium on fracking, now.