Dear Governor Pritzker,
Concerned by the rapidly expanding evidence of harm caused by oil & gas development and production, we, the undersigned organizations, call for a statewide ban on all hydraulic fracturing, “fracking,” in Illinois.
Fracking destabilizes the climate. Fracking wells release large amounts of methane gas, which is known to trap 86 times more heat than carbon dioxide in the atmosphere during the decades after it is emitted. This contributes greatly to the climate crisis.
Pollution from fracking chemicals contaminates drinking water and puts peoples’ health at risk. Fracking pumps hazardous pollutants into the air and uses over 100 dangerous chemicals known to cause life-threatening illnesses, including cancer.
Fracking produces massive volumes of toxic and radioactive waste. The disposal of this waste causes earthquakes.
Fracking presents a broad number of consequences for people living in areas where it is occurring, including damage to public roads, declines in property values, increased crime and increased demand on emergency services. Fracking presents a clear violation of property rights through subsurface trespass and eminent domain practices.
The emerging science on shorter-latency effects shows significant threats that will affect the health and safety of Illinoisans, and the quality of our air, water, and soil. The current high-volume fracking regulation passed in 2013 does not reflect new research detailing the long-term or cumulative health and climate effects of this drilling practice. And, it does not address the dangers of low-volume fracking.
Fracking could cause irreparable damage to our state’s unique tourism and sustainable agriculture economies. Fracking is the wrong approach to protect the robust Illinois economy. This risky practice cannot be made safe by best practices or state regulations; only an outright ban can protect Illinois’ health and economy.
Citing significant public health risks, Vermont, New York, Maryland and Washington have banned fracking, along with more than 500 communities across the country. A just transition to 100% renewable energy is necessary to ensure the health and survival of our planet. Illinois can contribute to this transition and lead the clean energy revolution by banning fracking. Governor Pritzker, you have an obligation to protect the citizens of Illinois. We urge you to pass a statewide ban on all hydraulic fracturing.