Southern Illinoisans Against Fracturing Our Environment (SAFE) is horrified at the decision of the Illinois General Assembly, and Gov. Quinn, to put the water, air, soil, health and economic future of Southern and Central Illinois at risk from horizontal fracking. In the words of Tabitha Tripp of SAFE, "It’s a very sad time for Illinois. We have to fight our own government to keep our children and grandchildren safe from harm."
SB1715 was negotiated behind closed doors, and was not based on scientific study, but rather on the question of what was politically possible, regardless of science. The resulting bill is woefully inadequate to protect Illinois residents from the known harms horizontal fracking has brought to residents across America. It also represents a denial of basic democracy for the residents of Illinois.
Josh Fox, in a House Executive Committee Hearing May 21, pleaded with Illinois legislators to visit Pennsylvania to see what horizontal fracking has done to families there. Illinois legislators refused this extremely reasonable, common sense request. Not one of these elected officials has ever visited a fracking site.
SAFE strongly opposes fracking and will continue to work with other groups opposed to fracking, advocate for victims and push for a ban, until the practice is banned. We will pursue every avenue possible and will never stop fighting for a ban.
SAFE worked tirelessly to promote a fracking moratorium so that scientific studies could be considered, along with water usage and local issues. The Illinois General Assembly refused to consider this common sense approach. Obviously, campaign contributions are more important than the health and safety of the people they serve. It is a sad day for democracy, and for the future of Illinois.
Visit EcoWatch’s FRACKING page for more related news on this topic.
California is bracing for rare January wildfires this week amid damaging Santa Ana winds coupled with unusually hot and dry winter weather.
High winds, gusting up to 80- to 90 miles per hour in some parts of the state, are expected to last through Wednesday evening. Nearly the entire state has been in a drought for months, according to the U.S. Drought Monitor, which, alongside summerlike temperatures, has left vegetation dry and flammable.
Utilities Southern California Edison and PG&E, which serves the central and northern portions of the state, warned it may preemptively shut off power to hundreds of thousands of customers to reduce the risk of electrical fires sparked by trees and branches falling on live power lines. The rare January fire conditions come on the heels of the worst wildfire season ever recorded in California, as climate change exacerbates the factors causing fires to be more frequent and severe.
California is also experiencing the most severe surge of COVID-19 cases since the beginning of the pandemic, with hospitals and ICUs over capacity and a stay-at-home order in place. Wildfire smoke can increase the risk of adverse health effects due to COVID, and evacuations forcing people to crowd into shelters could further spread the virus.
As reported by AccuWeather:
In the atmosphere, air flows from high to low pressure. The setup into Wednesday is like having two giant atmospheric fans working as a team with one pulling and the other pushing the air in the same direction.
Normally, mountains to the north and east of Los Angeles would protect the downtown which sits in a basin. However, with the assistance of the offshore storm, there will be areas of gusty winds even in the L.A. Basin. The winds may get strong enough in parts of the basin to break tree limbs and lead to sporadic power outages and sparks that could ignite fires.
"Typically, Santa Ana winds stay out of downtown Los Angeles and the L.A. Basin, but this time, conditions may set up just right to bring 30- to 40-mph wind gusts even in those typically calm condition areas," said AccuWeather Senior Meteorologist Mike Doll.
For a deeper dive:
- Bond Fire South of LA Forces 25,000 to Flee - EcoWatch ›
- 'Explosive' Southern California Lake Fire Spreads to 10,000 Acres ... ›
- 10 Wildfires Ignite Around Los Angeles in Unseasonable Wind and ... ›
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By Monir Ghaedi
As the COVID-19 pandemic continues to keep most of Europe on pause, the EU aims for a breakthrough in its space program. The continent is seeking more than just a self-sufficient space industry competitive with China and the U.S.; the industry must also fit into the European Green Deal.
European satellites continue to provide data on climate change.