Mission, Vision and History
Our mission is to ban fracking and other fossil fuel extraction in, and shipment of fossil fuels through, Southern Illinois, and to reduce and phase out our reliance on fossil fuels for energy, transportation and consumer products in Southern Illinois. As global citizens, we share in a collective responsibility to carry out this mission in order to minimize the harm created by human-caused climate change. As residents of Southern Illinois, we share in a collective responsibility to halt methods of resource extraction that threaten the quality of our water, air, soil and the health and safety of our people and other living beings. To fulfill our needs for energy, transportation, employment and habitation, this implies the need to produce and transition to renewable, non-polluting sources of energy.
In carrying out this mission, we resist longstanding efforts by moneyed, powerful interests to intimidate and separate residents and communities from each other, which is antithetical to the basic concepts of democracy. If we are to succeed in protecting both our resources and our communities, we must exercise and protect our human rights as recognized by the Constitutions of the United States and the State of Illinois, to protect our water, air, soil and the health and safety of our people and other living beings, and find new means of prosperity.
In our efforts to fulfill our mission, we also strive to awaken a community spirit among the people of Southern Illinois and create a popular movement that educates people to their rights and mobilizes them to act in the protection of these rights.
We came together as members of Southern Illinoisans Against Fracturing our Environment (SAFE) to combat horizontal fracking, the latest and arguably the most environmentally destructive and health-threatening technology to devastate people’s resources, homes, and communities. We remain dedicated to the goal of banning the use of this technology in Illinois. Considering the harm caused to the global climate, the regional ecosystem, human health and safety, and our quality of life, we also work to help realize a broader vision in which fossil fuel extraction and combustion will become a thing of the past. SAFE is a champion of local people. It tells the truth about the environmental and human destruction from fossil fuel extraction and stands for people’s rights. SAFE challenges governments to protect the people. It does so at a time when human beings are increasingly divided and small communities destroyed in order to favor private profits over the needs of the people; when governments struggle to represent the people in the face of corporate influence; and when people are inundated with incessant propaganda telling them that horizontal fracking and other destructive technologies are actually beneficial. SAFE envisions a united people of Southern Illinois who work together to support each other and to protect this incredible, precious land. Our future and that of our children depend on it.
SAFE was founded in early 2012 by two Southern Illinois residents concerned not only about the integrity of their own well water in the face of high-volume fracking, but also about the ramifications of fracking upon families across southern and central Illinois.
After an initial meeting between the two Southern Illinois residents, and the agreement upon the name of SAFE Southern Illinoisans Against Fracturing Our Environment, another meeting including a few more concerned citizens took place, and further plans were made. In March of 2012, the first public meeting of SAFE took place in Marion, IL, and many new folks met each other who shared concerns over fracking. In the following month, another public meeting took place in Carbondale, and by that point, enough volunteers were ready to help to take SAFE into its next phase.
A large public campaign started, and a detailed, carefully researched letter spelling out the dangers of high-volume fracking was sent to every Illinois state senator and representative, as well as other important public servants in Illinois. This letter campaign helped SAFE gain quick recognition as a serious organization of concerned Illinois citizens opposed to fracking.
Among the subsequent activities of SAFE was participation in creating momentum for a state-wide moratorium on high-volume fracking in Illinois. SAFE worked with several other environmental groups on this endeavor. Although the moratorium was tabled when the larger environmental groups caved to pressure to broker a deal with industry, SAFE continued to work with the remaining environmental groups on a new moratorium bill in the spring of 2013.
SAFE continues its efforts to fight fracking on various fronts, including the local level as well as the state level. Until fracking is permanently stopped in IL, the residents who live here will be forced to defend their homes, families, and property from the harms to health, safety, and the environment, and the massive invasion of privacy, that fracking represents.
This website, and any promotional materials produced by SAFE, are intended for informational purposes only, and any actions taken by individuals are solely the responsibility of those individuals. SAFE claims no responsibility for actions taken by individuals, even if someone claims to be acting on behalf of SAFE. Individuals are responsible for their own actions.