Ban Fracking and Prevent Potential Fault Line Catastrophe


Target: Governor Pat Quinn, Illinois

Goal: Immediately halt further consideration of fracking in Illinois

Fracking is a method used to obtain fossil fuels in deep ground reserves. Government officials in Illinois are considering the start of fracking operations despite protests from both environmental groups and citizens. In addition to the proven health and environmental issues fracking will bring to the state, evidence links fracking to earthquakes and Illinois is home to multiple nuclear reactors and earthquake fault lines.

Southern Illinois, where a majority of the proposed well sites will be located, depends heavily on well water and is home to agricultural and livestock farms. The fracking process drills down thousands of feet to reach shale deposits and then turns the drill to continue horizontally, sometimes up to lengths of 4,000 feet. Cracks in the shale are purposely caused so that fracking solution, sometimes containing arsenic and hydrochloric acid, can be dispersed into these cracks in order to release the trapped fossil fuel. This fluid is then retrieved for the fuel. This fluid is typically only retrieved at a rate of 25%-50%, leaving abundant amounts of this hazardous cocktail in the ground. The fractures caused by the drilling process enable this toxic fluid, along with methane, to escape into both the atmosphere and the aquifer which supplies water to residents’ wells.

Fracking has also been linked to an increase of earthquake activity. Since fracking began in Oklahoma, seismic activity has increased 5,000%. Oklahoma is now second in seismic activity only to California. Illinois already has two areas of seismic activity. The New Madrid Fault Line travels from Illinois touching Indiana, Missouri, Arkansas, Kentucky, Tennessee and Mississippi. The Wabash Valley Seismic Zone runs along the eastern border of Illinois to Indiana. The truly scary fact is that fifteen nuclear reactors, similar in design to the Fukushima power plant, are located in the area of the Madrid Seismic Zone. A recent study by researchers from Cornell University and the University of Colorado have determined that fracking methods are indeed responsible for the increase of quakes in Oklahoma.

The United Nations has determined access to water is an international human right. The effects of fracking deny citizens that right, as their water becomes contaminated, undrinkable and toxic. Bringing fracking into an area that contains more nuclear reactors than any other state as well as established seismic activity is irresponsible and dangerous. Fracking must not be allowed in Illinois and the governor need to take a stand against it.


Dear Governor Quinn,

While I appreciate your desire to bring jobs to Illinois citizens, allowing fracking in Illinois is an unacceptable means to achieve this result.

Fracking has been proven to contaminate citizens’ water with toxic chemicals. Considering that Southern Illinois depends heavily upon its well water and is also home to farming industries, the true cost of fracking in Illinois will far outweigh the addition of revenue or jobs.

Fracking has also been linked to an increase in seismic activity. Oklahoma this past year had an increase of 5,000% seismic activity over normal levels due to fracking. A recent study by researchers at Cornell University and University of Colorado has demonstrated the direct link to the Oklahoma quakes and fracking.

Illinois is home to both the Wabash Valley and the New Madrid fault lines. There are also fifteen nuclear reactors in the area of the New Madrid seismic area alone. Why are you risking potential calamity for your citizens and your neighboring states’ citizens by considering fracking when the evidence against this process continues to grow?

You must immediately halt any further consideration of fracking in Illinois. No level of regulation will change the overall dangers that are sure to be realized.


[Your Name Here]

Photo credit: Public Domain via Wikipedia Commons

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