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Wednesday, 25 December 2013 01:17

'Merry Frackmess!': Elves Erect Gas Drilling Rig on Governor's Front Lawn

Written by  Andrea Germanos | Common Dreams

If Illinois Gov. Quinn wants fracking in his state, Santa thinks he should see what it's like to live next to a fracking rig.

A group of "elves" delivered Santa's "Merry Frackmess" present to the Chicago home of Illinois Governor Pat Quinn on Monday.

The "elves"—activists with the climate activism group Rising Tide Chicago—delivered a red bow-adorned mock fracking rig to his lawn "because if Gov. Quinn and the other people that have opened up our state to fracking had to live next to fracking and had to obtain their water from a well I think they would not bring fracking to our state," said Mike Durshmid of the group.

The Illinois Department of Natural Resources held its last public hearing on "proposed regulations to implement provisions of the state’s new Hydraulic Fracturing Regulatory Act" last week in Carbondale, and the hearing was dominated by anti-fracking voices. Written comments will be accepted until Jan. 3.

Reading a statement from Gov. Quinn's lawn, one elf said that "Santa has closely been watching how the threat of hyrdraulic fracturing or fracking has become closer and closer to reality in Illinois."

"We stand here in solidarity with [others] who have suffered and are going to suffer if we keep pumping greenhouse gases, like the methane that comes from fracking, into our atmosphere. The elves have been impacted, as have people that have experienced Hurricane Sandy, Typhoon Haiyan and the extreme drought in southern Illinois."

"We are at a critical juncture with regards to our climate, and bringing in a destructive fossil fuel industry is moving us in the wrong direction."

"Fracking puts corporate interests above the health and well-being of people and ecosystems, and that is naughty!" the activist said.

Rising Tide Chicago captured pictures of their action on Twitter:

ILFracking2

The Chicago Tribune reports that State police officers took photos of the [fracking rig] before dismantling it and disposing of it, authorities said.

Chicago police classified the incident as "noncriminal" and don't anticipate any arrests, said Officer Daniel O'Brien, a police spokesman.

Ecologist and Illinois native Dr. Sandra Steingraber issued a "fracking manifesto" in June, denouncing the state's fracking regulations, writing, in part:

We have heard the warnings of our brothers and sisters living in the gas fields of Pennsylvania and Ohio, whose children, pets, and livestock are sick, whose property values are ruined, whose water is undrinkable.

We have heard the pleas of our neighbors in Wisconsin, Iowa, and Minnesota, where strip-mining for “frac sand” has devastated communities, destroyed landscapes, and filled the air with carcinogenic silica dust. We are aware that our own beloved Starved Rock State Park is already threatened by industrial mining of silica sand used for fracking operations and that the pressure to strip-mine Illinois for sand will only increase with every well that is drilled and fracked.

We assert that fracking is a moral crisis. In a time of climate emergency, it is wrong to further deepen our dependency on fossil fuels. In a state such as Illinois, where chronic drought and water shortages are already forecast for our children’s future, it is wrong to destroy fresh water resources in order to bring new sources of climate-killing gas and oil out of the ground.

We reject the legitimacy of Illinois’ fracking regulatory bill, which was the result of closed-door negotiations between industry representatives and compromise-oriented environmental organizations. Responsible only to their funders and their members, these environmental groups do not represent us nor are they empowered to negotiate on our behalf. We consider the fracking regulatory bill to be a subversion of both science and democracy. Throughout its creation, no comprehensive health study or environmental impact study was ever commissioned. No public hearings or public comment periods ever took place. And yet it is the public that is being compelled to live with the risks sanctioned by this bill. It is an unjust law.

Knowing that our own government has abdicated its responsibility to protect the safety and well-being of the citizenry, knowing that no one is coming to save us, we declare our intent to save ourselves from the ravages of shale gas and oil extraction via HVHF [high-volume horizontal hydraulic fracking]. We declare our intent to join together in a fracking abolitionist movement.

 

 

Link to original article from Common Dreams

Read 5402 times Last modified on Wednesday, 25 December 2013 01:25

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