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Illinois People’s Action Press Release for HB2615

Illinois People’s Action ■ 510 E. Washington Street, Suite 309 ■ Bloomington, IL 61701 ■(309) 827-9627

NEWS www.illinoispeoplesaction.org

For Release: immediate 2/21/13

Contacts: Mary Bechtel IPA Spokesperson. Work 309-828-8242, cell 309-826-5725

PRESS RELEASE

PRO-FRACKING BILL INTRODUCED IN ILLINOIS HOUSE ALLOWS IMMEDIATE FRACKING ON FARMLAND WITH NO PROVISIONS FOR FURTHER SCIENTIFIC STUDY OR LOCAL CONTROL OVER PERMITS ACTIVISTS TO FIGHT “RUNAWAY TRAIN” OF BIG ENERGY CORPORATION PROFITS OVER PEOPLE

Bloomington, IL – Calling House Bill 2615 (Hydraulic Fracturing Regulatory Bill) the worst of all possible legislative proposals on fracking, Illinois People’s Action (IPA) is calling the bill a “runaway train” for big energy corporations seeking to frack for natural gas in Illinois. “This bill makes no mention of the need for scientific study of the impact of fracking on water quality or human and farmland impact” said Mary Bechtel, IPA spokesperson. “It’s full steam ahead for big energy companies to exploit our state for their own profits, and we’re going to fight to protect our water, farmland and climate” commented Bechtel. “New York Governor Cuomo just extended their state moratorium on fracking because the scientific is still unclear. Is science different in Illinois?” said Bechtel.

The pro-fracking bill takes away local county control of zoning, only allowing county government to file a complaint and have a hearing. Other permissive actions benefiting big energy include allow burning off escaping methane (a known contributor to climate change), no restrictions on fresh water use (only generalized “plans” by operators), no county government control of fracking permits, and continued secrecy of what dangerous chemicals are used as “trade secrets”.

The bill had been crafted behind closed doors for many months without community input. “If self-described “stakeholders” aren’t going to protect the environment, then we will. We’re ready for the fight.” said Bechtel.

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