Illinois State Rep. John Bradley's bill to speed up fracking has failed miserably. Thank you to everyone who came out to various events yesterday to declare your opposition. Your efforts surely helped to bring a swift and decisive end to this outrageous bill.
People in Springfield and the fracking industry now know that the frackivist movement is alive and well in Illinois. We were able to mobilize a significant number of people over a holiday weekend in at least two major locations across the state. The ultimate result was the sudden death of an ill-conceived pro-fracking bill. This is good news.
However, as we celebrate this victory, we must remember that this was just one bill. The broader struggle against fracking continues. The fracking industry is already gearing up for low-volume horizontal fracking that slides through a loophole in the new fracking regulations and thus is mostly unregulated. Also, sometime between now and November, the IDNR will likely release an amended version of the fracking rules. These rules will legalize high-volume horizontal fracking without really protecting the people and lands of Southern Illinois from the poisoned water, poisoned air, poisoned land, earthquakes, and many other social and environmental harms associated with fracking. If we do nothing, then sooner or later, Southern Illinois will still be fracked.
Let's take this as our cue to go on the offensive against fracking. We must reward Bradley for his efforts by putting him out of office and replacing him with someone who opposes fracking. We must use various political and protest tactics to stop the low-volume fracking that is already receiving permits. We must use similar tactics to demand a complete statewide ban of fracking.
Most of all, if they refuse us our ban, we must demonstrate that we, the people of Illinois, are willing to enforce a citizens' ban on fracking. We are willing to use civil, nonviolent means to protect ourselves and our neighbors from any violent extraction activities brought into our region by politicians and corporations. Legislation and court orders aren't the only way to shut down fracking in Illinois. Lockdowns and blockades in Springfield and Southern Illinois would work just as well. But hopefully we can settle this like reasonable adults and find solutions to our state's economic and political problems that don't involve some corporation poisoning my friends and laying ruin to the land that I love.
So take some time to celebrate this victory. This was a fairly straightforward victory that was handed to us on a silver platter by a man named John Bradley who clearly knows less about politics than his constituents. But as you celebrate, remember that the struggle for environmental and social justice continues, and do what you can to support that struggle.
Call your politicians and demand a ban on fracking. Sign petitions, attend protests, march in marches, hold discussions and dinners and film showings, support green energy and green jobs, vote for candidates who oppose fracking, do whatever it takes to rally support for the cause. Because at the end of the day, as both John Bradley and everyone who opposed him yesterday has demonstrated, it's up to us to stop fracking and create a better future for ourselves, our region, and our world.