Governor Pritzker: Ban Fracking in Illinois

Governor Pritzker

When J.B. Pritzker ran for governor in Illinois, he ran on a platform of clean energy and said he opposed fracking.

Now Governor Pritzker can finally ban fracking in Illinois!

We've known for years that fracking is an inherently unsafe process. It has made people sick, poisoned our air and water, and is fueling the climate crisis.

Fill out the form below to send a message to Governor Pritzker to tell him to ban fracking in Illinois.

To: Governor Pritzker
From: [Your Name]

Whereas, the process of hydraulic fracturing for oil and natural gas (“fracking”) is an inherently dangerous practice;

Whereas, the evidence is now irrefutable that fracking contaminates water, pollutes the air, threatens public health, harms local economies, decreases property values, and fuels and exacerbates the climate crisis we face today;

Whereas, a transition to a renewable, efficient, and just energy system is impeded by the practice of fracking;

Whereas Governor Pritzker ran on a platform of clean energy and has been a vocal opponent to fracking over the course of his campaign;

Whereas human-caused global climate chaos is no longer a theoretical source of harm at some point in the distant future, but is a growing disaster now;

Whereas the present 1-degree Celsius increase in global temperature above pre-industrial levels has already caused an alarming growth in severe storms, forest fires, droughts, coral bleaching, heat waves, and floods around the world;

Whereas the average numbers of extreme weather events causing over $1 billion in damages in the United States have more than doubled since the 1980s;

Whereas the goal of maintaining a stable climate requires reducing the amount of CO2 in the atmosphere to 350 parts per million, and current levels, in excess of 405 parts per million, are the highest levels in more than 3 million years, when sea levels were 50–80 feet higher than today;

Whereas global fossil fuel emissions grew 2.7 percent in 2018, the largest increase in seven years;

Whereas the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change has been warning humankind since at least 2013 that the vast majority of the world’s existing reserves of oil, coal and natural gas must not be consumed, and must be kept in the ground, in order to avoid catastrophic climate change;

Whereas the potential carbon emissions from the oil, gas, and coal in the world’s currently operating fields and mines would take our world beyond 2°C of warming above pre-industrial levels;

Whereas the United States is currently accelerating, rather than slowing, its extraction of fossil fuels, at a pace of new oil and gas extraction that would unleash 120 billion metric tons of CO2 by 2050 -- equivalent to the lifetime emissions of nearly 1,000 coal-fired power plants;

Whereas, despite the progress being made in expanding the production of electricity from renewable sources of energy in Illinois, that progress alone will not suffice to meet our climate objectives if we do not also address the issue of the growing supply of fossil fuels and growth of fossil fuel infrastructure, and immediately phase out the continued production and combustion of fossil fuels;

Whereas there is now a much greater body of evidence of these harms than existed in 2013, when the Hydraulic Fracturing Regulatory Act (HFRA) was passed by the General Assembly and signed into law;

Whereas the HFRA only addressed “high volume” fracking, allowing low-volume fracking permits to be issued in Illinois since passage of the Act;

Whereas, mismanagement or spills of fracking fluid and wastewater have contaminated ground and surface water, posing significant risks not only to local communities’ drinking water sources but also to farmers and ranchers with agricultural and livestock-based livelihoods;

Whereas, the practices of flaring excess natural gas, increased traffic congestion, and airborne distribution of chemicals and proppants used in the fracking process all result in a decrease in air quality;

Whereas, the combination of inadequate regulatory oversight, isolated working conditions, high production demand, and large concentrations of chemicals required for the fracking process results in escalated health risks for workers on fracking projects, particularly due to exposure to unsafe levels of volatile compounds such as benzene, formaldehyde, and hydrogen sulfide;

Whereas, New York, Washington, Maryland, and Vermont have banned fracking, and Illinois can and should act as a leader in the transition to renewable energy in the Midwest;

Whereas any perceived financial benefit to the State of Illinois from allowing an expansion of oil and gas extraction in our State would be greatly exceeded by the harms that would ensue –

Therefore, we, the undersigned organizations and individuals call upon Governor J. B. Pritzker to use his authority as governor of Illinois to impose an immediate ban on the granting of all new drilling permits for oil and natural gas that use any and all forms of hydraulic fracturing.