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Letter from South Africa

Click here for the letter in pdf

Illinois General Assembly

For Attention: The Honorable Governor Pat Quinn

State House

Springfield, IL 62706

May 30th 2013

Dear Governor Quinn, Attorney General Madigan, and members of the Illinois General Assembly,


I was invited to the United States in April to receive the Goldman Environmental Prize for my work in opposing fracking in Africa. Resulting from that opportunity, I toured your great country from CO to TX, and PA to CA. My focus was on learning firsthand about shale gas and shale oil fracking through the eyes of Americans.

These conversations included politicians, scientists, legal professionals, industry consultants and the man in the street.

The inescapable conclusion at which I arrived, and which still informs my thinking, is that I can find no good reason to support this controversial technology and its reliance on an unsustainable resource, which so patently suits the oil and gas industry.

The shale gas resource itself depletes rapidly, carries with it significant environmental risk, far-reaching secondary costs to your constituents, and locks economies – both developing and developed – into a further dependence on fossil fuels.

Finally, it firmly delays the emergence of the renewable technologies that we all know will someday have to deliver the world’s energy requirements.

My plea to you today, Governor Quinn, is to fully consider the net negative effect of embracing the model propagated by the oil and gas industry – a model that will see the future prosperity of young Americans traded for short-term gains.

I thank you for taking the time to read this letter and request the privilege of addressing your house in September, when, as a visitor to the US, I wish to demonstrate my solidarity with the people of Illinois. I pray that you will hear the voices of the people of Illinois and that this will encourage and support you to choose sustainability for your constituents over the false promise, of a solution to the energy and jobs conundrum, that faces governments the world over.

Yours sincerely,

Jonathan Deal


Treasure Karoo Action Group

South Africa


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