Newsflash:
Get Involved Resources Find Your Legislators Stop Global Warming Should Sierra Club Endorse Coal Rush/Fracking Gov. Quinn -- Or Call Out Environmental Disaster?
Sunday, 02 March 2014 22:05

Should Sierra Club Endorse Coal Rush/Fracking Gov. Quinn -- Or Call Out Environmental Disaster?

Written by  Jeff Biggers | Huffington Post
Is it enough for Illinois Gov. Pat Quinn and state treasurer candidate Mike Frerichs to hustle today to purge their campaigns of tainted coal industry contributions from a growing mine safety regulator scandal, or should citizens groups and environmentalists hold the Democratic candidates accountable for their full-throttle push behind the state's unprecedented coal mining rush and spiraling fracking debacle? 

Questions abound in Illinois, where coal mining production and its toxic slurry fallout has skyrocketed by a mind-boggling 70 percent during the Quinn administration, as Gov. Quinn also touts a controversial and widely denounced fracking regulation law, opening the floodgates for oil and natural gas drilling in the state's beloved Shawnee forest region.

Earlier this week, in fact, despite a public promise by Quinn's deputy chief of staff that no fracking permits would be issued without strengthened fracking rules, Quinn apparently intervened to push through a second horizontal drilling permit for Denver-based Strata-X Energy.

Bottom line: Should the Sierra Club, and other environmental organizations, endorse the disastrous pro-coal and pro-fracking Quinn for governor, in default of the Republican candidate, or hold him accountable to the environmental group's principles?

"The Sierra Club should expect Quinn to stand by his green values in every part of Illinois," said Will Reynolds, the former chair of the Sierra Club Illinois Chapter and a key environmental blogger.

The Sierra Club recently endorsed Frerichs, despite his long-time support for "clean coal" boondoggles like FutureGen, Taylorville, and his leadership role in shaping a fracking regulatory bill, in his words, "so that we can start the process of bringing the hydraulic fracturing jobs to Illinois."

Quinn, of course, took large contributions from out-of-state coal companies, in his last campaign:


2014-02-28-coalcontrib.jpg

(from IL State Board of Elections)


While Quinn supporters often tout his administration's role in clean water initiatives and bringing clean energy and green jobs to the state (virtually all in Chicago and central-north Illinois), the governor's two-sided approach for downstate's reckless coal and fracking industries has been disastrous for the state and climate change concerns.

Last spring, Quinn famously triumphed the state's 5-fold increase in coal exports, on the same week climate scientists warned CO2 emissions had reached historic 400ppm levels.

Meanwhile, violation-ridden strip mining and longwall mining operations under the Quinn administration have continued unabated downstate, while high hazard coal slurry dams rise in central Illinois farm towns. Quinn even signed off on strip mining the Pyramid State Park.

Toxic coal ash piles under the Quinn administration continue to rank as some of the worst in the nation.

Quinn's appointed Illinois Pollution Control Board granted waivers last fall for five decrepit and pollution-spewing coal-fired plants.

Under Quinn, millions of state tax dollars also go to subsidies for out-of-state coal companies, like Peabody Energy, which posted $7 billion in revenues last year.

Even coal miners note that the Quinn administration remains in violation of state law for its lack of mine safety inspectors.

"Quinn has given out some clean energy nuggets to the Chicago area," Reynolds added, "but for downstate his administration is an environmental disaster. Instead of showing leadership on climate change, he's launching a two-pronged crisis of fracking and expanded coal mining. There's a long Illinois tradition of politicians pandering to environmentalists in Chicago while promoting coal and dirty energy farther south. Rod Blagojevich was the master of promoting clean energy laws while heavily subsidizing coal. That's not good enough anymore for the growing downstate environmental movement."

Original article on Huffington Post

Read 4964 times

PDA In Your State

Join "Countdown to Coverage" Share TPP with your Daily Newspaper

CWA devised a simple plan for which they were uniquely suited: drag TPP out of the shadows and into the light - one city at a time - using a medium they understand intimately: Daily Newspapers!

Two CWA members - Dave Felice in Denver, CO and Madelyn Elder in Portland, OR have started the ball rolling. We just need to keep up the momentum leading up to a big day of petition deliveries.

Button-ShareTPPWithNewspaper

Step 1 is to send an Op-Ed to your Daily Newspaper.

Sign the TPP Fast Track Petitions

MoveOn.org Petition - Congress Don't Renew Fast Track

Public Citizen Petition - Congress Must Reject Fast Track Authority

MoveOn.org Petition - Stop the Trans Pacific Partnership

CREDO Petition - Stop the Massive Corporate Power Grab

 

Hand Deliver a Letter to your Rep on Jobs

If your Representative is not currently a cosponsor of HR 1000 they may not completely understand how important full employment is to your community; click on your state at the bottom of this page to see all the cosponsors in your state. Nothing sends a stronger message to a Congressional member than a personal visit to a district office by a voter with a written request. Phone calls and emails are incredibly important but nothing gets attention like a personal visit. Our Educate Congress page has information and a sample letter. Print the letter, sign it, deliver it.

Button-HandDeliver