In New York, where a fracking moratorium is in effect until a health study is completed, one activist said Illinois environmentalists caved in when they should have pushed harder to block fracking.
“I was just appalled at this collaboration … to create these regulations based on the false premise that fracking is inevitable,” said Sandra Steingraber, an Illinois native and founder of New Yorkers Against Fracking, a group whose champions include actor Mark Ruffalo and singer Natalie Merchant. “It was not their job to help pave the way for fracking to move into Illinois. It was to protect the environment.”
But Michigan’s largest environmental coalition might be willing to take a cue from Illinois if lawmakers decide that fracking should be part of Michigan’s energy mix.
“We would love to see that kind of bipartisan cooperation,” said Hugh McDiarmid, spokesman for the Michigan Environmental Council. The Illinois bill “has a lot of good ideas and a lot of things … that mirror what we’re trying to achieve in Michigan” because stopping or banning fracking would be unrealistic.
That’s exactly what motivated some Illinois environmental groups to sit down with industry, lawmakers, regulators and the attorney general’s office.
In Illinois, it came down to “do we accept the invitation to go to the table or walk away and allow industry to write the rules?” said Allen Grosboll, co-legislative director at the Chicago-based Environmental Law and Policy Center. “For us to say we were not going to participate and drive the hardest deal we could to protect environment would have been totally irresponsible.”
The Natural Resources Defense Council supported a failed attempt at a fracking moratorium last year.<< previous 1 2 3 4 next >>