Quantcast

Carbondale Votes Unanimously to Support Statewide Fracking Moratorium

Energy

Environment America

In a unanimous decision, the Carbondale City Council passed a resolution on Nov. 13 calling on the Illinois General Assembly to “enact a moratorium on high volume horizontal hydraulic fracturing until such time as the health and environmental concerns of the people of Illinois are addressed." In this decision, Carbondale joins the Illinois towns of Carlyle, Anna and Alto Pass, and Union and Jackson Counties in taking action supporting a moratorium, becoming the largest city yet to do so.

Horizontal high-volume hydraulic fracturing is a new technique for extraction of natural gas contained within shale rock. The technique, recently popularized by its controversy and environmental impacts in Ohio, Pennsylvania and elsewhere, involves pumping millions of gallons of freshwater mixed with toxic chemicals and silica sand into horizontal wells at high pressure to break up shale rock and release natural gas.

“In every state where fracking has occurred, impacts such as severe illness, polluted and depleted drinking water, hazardous waste leaks, earthquakes, explosions and air pollution have come with it—no state has shown that it can be done safely,” argued Bruce Ratain, a clean energy associate with Environment Illinois.  

Though horizontal fracking is still on the cusp of commencing on a large scale in Illinois, the state already has notable scars from traditional vertical fracking, considered less dangerous than new high volume, high pressure horizontal fracking. Barb McKasson, chair of the local Shawnee Group of the Illinois Sierra Club related one jarring story:

"We started going to counties testing water, and through that process met Steve Combs, who lives in White County. His life has been ruined by fracking; his health is very poor. Steve had stopped drinking the water from his well, but didn’t realize that simply showering in the contaminated water could still make him sick. His neighbors’ wells are also affected, and this is just from vertical fracking. The horizontal hydrofracking is ten to a hundred times higher in volume and impact."

The decision on Nov. 13 demonstrates an awareness of fracking’s impact in a city often associated with fossil fuel production. “In Fort Worth, they have frack pads right next to schools…the council members came to realize that we need more protection than our current zoning laws,” noted Lynn Waters, a local resident and activist with SAFE (Southern Illinoisans Against Fracking) who addressed the council.

“This is educating the citizens of Carbondale to realizing that just because they live in the city, they’re not immune to the effects of fracking that might occur next door, and, it has taken place within cities,” noted McKasson, who also spoke at the hearing.

A statewide coalition of groups including Environment Illinois, SAFE and the Sierra Club has been pushing for a statewide moratorium on fracking, presented in SB 3280 currently before the state legislature. “Carbondale has taken a stand for public health and the environment. Now it's time for Illinois to stand up for them and communities statewide by passing a moratorium,” concluded Ratain.

Visit EcoWatch’s FRACKING page for more related news on this topic.

 

EcoWatch Daily Newsletter

Scanning electron micrograph of Yersinia pestis, which causes bubonic plague, on proventricular spines of a Xenopsylla cheopis flea. NIAID / Flickr / CC BY 2.0

A middle-aged married couple in China was diagnosed with pneumonic plague, a highly infectious disease similar to bubonic plague, which ravaged Europe in the middle ages, as CNN reported.

Read More Show Less
Milk made from almonds, oats and coconut are among the healthiest alternatives to cow's milk. triocean / iStock / Getty Images Plus

Dairy aisles have exploded with milk and milk alternative options over the past few years, and choosing the healthiest milk isn't just about the fat content.

Whether you're looking beyond cow's milk for health reasons or dietary preferences or simply want to experiment with different options, you may wonder which type of milk is healthiest for you.

Read More Show Less
Sponsored
Greta Thunberg stands aboard the catamaran La Vagabonde as she sets sail to Europe in Hampton, Virginia, on Nov. 13. NICHOLAS KAMM / AFP via Getty Images

Greta Thunberg, the teenage climate activist whose weekly school strikes have spurred global demonstrations, has cut short her tour of the Americas and set sail for Europe to attend COP25 in Madrid next month, as The New York Times reported.

Read More Show Less
The Lake Delhi Dam in Iowa failed in 2010. VCU Capital News Service / Josh deBerge / FEMA

At least 1,688 dams across the U.S. are in such a hazardous condition that, if they fail, could force life-threatening floods on nearby homes, businesses, infrastructure or entire communities, according to an in-depth analysis of public records conducted by the the Associated Press.

Read More Show Less

By Sabrina Kessler

Far-reaching allegations about how a climate-sinning American multinational could shamelessly lie to the public about its wrongdoing mobilized a small group of New York students on a cold November morning. They stood in front of New York's Supreme Court last week to follow the unprecedented lawsuit against ExxonMobil.

Read More Show Less
Sponsored

By Alex Robinson

Leah Garcés used to hate poultry farmers.

The animal rights activist, who opposes factory farming, had an adversarial relationship with chicken farmers until around five years ago, when she sat down to listen to one. She met a poultry farmer called Craig Watts in rural North Carolina and learned that the problems stemming from factory farming extended beyond animal cruelty.

Read More Show Less
People navigate snow-covered sidewalks in the Humboldt Park neighborhood on Nov. 11 in Chicago. Scott Olson / Getty Images

Temperatures plunged rapidly across the U.S. this week and around 70 percent of the population is expected to experience temperatures around freezing Wednesday.

Read More Show Less
A general view of the flooded St. Mark's Square after an exceptional overnight "Alta Acqua" high tide water level, on Nov. 13 in Venice. MARCO BERTORELLO / AFP / Getty Images

Two people have died as Venice has been inundated by the worst flooding it has seen in more than 50 years, The Guardian reported Wednesday.

Read More Show Less