Cross Posted from Root Force
Springfield, IL–For the third day in a row, concerned Illinoisans that have requested a meeting with Governor Quinn and that he reconsider his support of allowing hydraulic fracturing in Illinois, have sat-in in front of Governor Quinn’s office. Today 14 people joined the sit-in and the three people refused to leave as the capitol was closing were arrested. This brings the numbers of arrests for the week up to five.
Citizens sitting-in at Quinn’s office believe that that the voices of people that will be most affected by hydraulic fracturing have been ignored in the process of figuring out how to deal with this controversial practice which has left a wake of health and environmental problems in other states.
Earlier this year, Natural Resources Defense Council, Environmental Law and Policy Center, Illinois Environmental Council and Faith in Place, industry groups and lawmakers were convened by Governor Quinn and worked with Attorney General Lisa Madigan’s office to craft a bill to place regulations on hydraulic fracturing in the state of Illinois. The bill, being touted by some of the environmental groups that helped craft it as, “the best in the nation” does not require that companies disclose proprietary chemicals that could be harmful to residents and workers. Local, grassroots environmental groups support a moratorium and were shut out of the regulatory bill discussions.
“It’s sad and enraging that they have trampled democracy by cutting a backroom deal to rush through a bill to regulate fracking. Now that it’s the 11th hour and the people who have not been heard and are politely requesting a meeting are being arrested by the people who should be representing our best interests.” said Jenn Carrillo of Bloomington-Normal, who was at the capitol today.
The sit-in started Tuesday after an executive committee hearing voted to unanimously support the regulatory bill.
Also on Thursday, residents in Southern Illinois staged a protest at Representative John Bradley’s office for his support for bringing fracking into the state. Bradley is the lead sponsor of the regulatory bill SB 1715 and the representative for many of the concerned citizens downstate that have been making trips to the statehouse to lobby and attend rallies for a moratorium on fracking.