Continue The Struggle Against Fracking

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.

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Stop The Bradley Bill And Ban Fracking

Over Memorial Day weekend, Illinois State Rep. John Bradley introduced legislation to effectively throw out public input on fracking and begin fracking immediately in Southern Illinois. Please join me in opposing and resisting this effort to circumvent public feedback and bring a destructive industry into the lands that my friends and I call home.

There are several ways for you to show your opposition to this sleazy move by Bradley:

1. Call John Bradley's office or the office of your state rep. 618-997-9697 or 217-782-1051.

2. Join us in Marion at 9 am. 1031 Enterprise Way.

3. Join my friends in Springfield at the cafeteria of the Stratton building at noon to prepare for a 1 pm event that will include delivering petitions and calling for an end to fracking.

There will be other opportunities for opposition and resistance if this legislation moves forward. In the meantime, please do what you can to let John Bradley and others in Springfield know that you will not let Southern Illinois become a sacrifice zone for the fracking industry.

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Strange Beginnings

I am pleased to announce the upcoming release of a new short story collection!

Strange Beginnings is a collection of short stories that all take place in the same setting as my novel, Change. These tales all relate in some way to the theme of strange beginnings — and often strange endings. Two were written independently of the novel while my ideas for this setting were still forming. Two were written during the course of my Kickstarter campaign for the novel. One was written after the novel as a reward for some of my Kickstarter backers.

This collection will be released in ebook form on May 8, 2014. I have once again chosen to release a book on May 8 in honor of the Inland Hurricane of 2009. One of the stories, Imbalance, was inspired in part by the events of that day.

I'll be posting another update when Strange Beginnings is available for purchase. In the meantime, if you haven't already, I invite you to read, rate, and review my novel, Change. You're also welcome to visit my author page on Facebook and talk to me and my readers about anything related to my writing. I enjoy hearing your feedback and look forward to sharing this book with you in less than a month!

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My Public Comment About Fracking

Over the course of the public comment period on the IDNR's administrative rules on fracking, I've made numerous comments online, either through the IDNR comment form or through The following is a copy of my spoken comments at the IDNR hearing on December 19, 2013 at the Student Center in Carbondale, IL. I also submitted a written copy of my comments at the hearing.

The IDNR has been given an impossible task: the task of making fracking safe. Many of us in this room are also facing what seems like an impossible task: the task of convincing the IDNR that the proposed rules are broken.

As representatives of the IDNR, you have been tasked with promoting public safety for present and future generations. Fracking poses an imminent threat to the health and safety of people I know personally right here in Southern Illinois. It also poses a threat to many of our livelihoods that are derived from agricultural and recreational uses of the natural riches and wonders of Southern Illinois. Your proposed rules are woefully inadequate to protect my friends and neighbors from poisoned wells, poisoned farms, poisoned air, and the many other environmental and social hazards associated with fracking.


I’ve submitted numerous comments about the details of these administrative rules. The take home message, however, is this: fracking is not safe and cannot be made safe by a haphazard set of rules with no real budget or plan for enforcement. A certain percentage of these fracking wells will fail. Once that contamination has been unleashed, there’s no taking it back. Present and future generations will suffer for it.


The proposed administrative rules place the people of Illinois — my  beloved friends and neighbors — in grave danger. As public servants dedicated to the stated mission of the IDNR, I urge you to take whatever actions necessary to ensure that fracking does not come to Southern Illinois. That may involve declaring that there is no current technology for safe fracking in Illinois, publicly calling for a ban, or resigning your posts in protest of the impossible task you’ve been given. Whatever it takes, I urge you to do everything in your power to stop this dangerous industry from coming to Southern Illinois.


Having said that, I must admit that I am also realist and know that you will probably not do any of those things. If you do not heed our comments, then it is we, the people of Illinois, who must take up the mission you have abandoned. In the end, it is we, the people, who must protect ourselves, our communities, and our land from the menace of fracking. And so, I urge my fellow Illinoisans to join me in resisting fracking in Southern Illinois. Resist with your comments, resist with your letters, resist with your voices. And if fracking does come to our region, resist with your bodies in acts of nonviolent civil disobedience. If the IDNR does not do its duty to protect the public, it is up to us to do so. I hope and pray that it doesn’t come to that, but if it does, I will be there, and I ask you to join me. Thank you.

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My name is Treesong. I'm a father, author, talk radio host, and Real Life Superhero. I live in Carbondale, Southern Illinois. I write novels, short stories, and poetry, mostly about the climate.

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