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*** UPDATED x2 *** Anti-fracking “Day of action” appears to have fizzled

Tuesday, Jun 17, 2014

* Yesterday was supposed to be a statewide “day of action” for anti-fracking activists. Not so much

A statewide “day of action” in support of renewable energy and against fracking throughout the state brought a group of about 20 protestors to Marion Monday morning.

The protestors, who call themselves “fracktivists,” gathered in front of Rep. John Bradley’s office at 11 a.m. to begin a one-hour protest.

* Photo

* More

The anti-fracking gathering in Marion Monday was one of three events of its type across the state.

Similar events were held in Springfield and in Chicago as well.

If there were other events, I haven’t seen any coverage online. The Springfield organizer touted the event on his Facebook page, but hasn’t yet posted any pics. Same goes for the planned Chicago event.

* And a group of counter-protesters matched the anti-fracker turnout in Marion

They were met by another group of about 20, composed mostly of people who work in the building trades, who turned out to show their support for the controversial oil and gas extraction method and Bradley’s efforts to jumpstart the use of it in the state.

“We’re here in support of John Bradley and what he’s trying to do to get fracking started in the state,” Southern and Central Illinois Laborers District Council business manager Clint Taylor said. “The (Hydraulic Fracturing Regulatory Act) bill has been passed with the toughest regulations in the country and it’s time to put people to work.”

Taylor said his counterparts in North Dakota, Pennsylvania and Ohio frequently talk about the positive effects a fracking boom has had on their regions.

“They are building schools and roads, their communities are being lifted up,” he said. “These are good jobs, the kind of jobs Southern Illinois needs.”

I’ve asked the anti-fracker organizers for photos of their events. I’ll post the pics if I ever get them.

*** UPDATE 1 *** Chicago pics…

*** UPDATE 2 *** From Will Reynolds, the Springfield anti-fracker…

I see you already have pics of the Marion action.
Back in December you wrote about the fracking rig in Quinn’s front yard: “I’d love to see those elves head down ‘yonder and put up a rig in Gary Forby’s front yard. Heh.”
Well, it’s not Forby’s front yard, but the Marion protest is in Forby’s district and since I know most of the people in the photo I can tell you that many are voters in his district.

Did you ever get a chance to link to a pic of the 500+ people who showed up to hear Josh Fox speak about fracking in Carbondale? I know it doesn’t fit the “radical fringe” narrative you and Denzler have been pushing for over a year now, but here’s one in case you’d like to use it sometime. Heck, NRDC and ELPC probably couldn’t get 20 people in a room in southern Illinois, unless those people were there to protest those organization’s support for the fracking law. Also, did you ever watch video of the Ina, IL fracking hearing? If you did, you’d see how many Sierra Club members and board members specified that they’re involved with the Shawnee Group of the Sierra Club but not the state chapter due to the state chapter’s support for fracking. It’s pretty unusual for elected leadership to publicly criticize their own organization over an issue. Sorry to burst your bubble, Rich, but the “radical fringe” includes leaders of the organization Sierra Club lobbyists claim to represent and they’ve said so publicly, many times.

He didn’t send a pic of yesterday’s rally.

- Posted by Rich Miller        

  1. - VanillaMan - Tuesday, Jun 17, 14 @ 2:27 pm:

    Always good to see folks getting involved on any issue. They might be wrong, but they mean well and to a lot of people, results don’t matter - intentions do!

  2. - wordslinger - Tuesday, Jun 17, 14 @ 2:37 pm:

    There would have been more people but they ran out of gas on the way.

  3. - Empty Suit - Tuesday, Jun 17, 14 @ 2:39 pm:

    “Listen to the Many” ..both of us.

  4. - dupage dan - Tuesday, Jun 17, 14 @ 2:51 pm:

    “fracktivists”, similar to fricktivists.

    Frick and Frack. The Tap It Brothers. Didn’t they have a radio show - they talked about old drilling equipment?

    They were a hoot.

  5. - OneMan - Tuesday, Jun 17, 14 @ 2:55 pm:

    If your slogan is listen to the many not the money it helps to have many…

    Since they will have money

  6. - Downstate Illinois - Tuesday, Jun 17, 14 @ 2:59 pm:

    Please, powers that be, listen to the many on this issue, particularly the 30 to 50-thousand Illinoisans who will get new jobs if fracking develops as big a boom as some have predicted.

  7. - Steve - Tuesday, Jun 17, 14 @ 3:00 pm:

    The Koch brothers must have prevented people from knowing about the rally.

  8. - Anonymous - Tuesday, Jun 17, 14 @ 3:02 pm:

    30 to 50-thousand Illinoisans who will get new jobs


  9. - Upon Further Review - Tuesday, Jun 17, 14 @ 3:04 pm:

    That looks like a single family (two parents and their children) in Chicago.

  10. - Demoralized - Tuesday, Jun 17, 14 @ 3:06 pm:


    Ugh. Here we go again.

    Here’s drinking to victimhood. One shot down.

  11. - cover - Tuesday, Jun 17, 14 @ 3:07 pm:

    This embarrassingly low turnout is likely to permanently sideline the anti-fracking “movement” - if you could even call it that. I’ll bet there would have been higher turnout for a rally to support construction of a Death Star.

  12. - Stones - Tuesday, Jun 17, 14 @ 3:08 pm:

    Fracking is a much bigger issue in S. Illinois than it is in Chicagoland. Not going to get much traction by protesting in front of the Daley Center.

  13. - OneMan - Tuesday, Jun 17, 14 @ 3:11 pm:

    But you can then go hit Millennium Park and the Bean after you protest…

  14. - KGB - Tuesday, Jun 17, 14 @ 3:12 pm:

    wow. And the revolution begins…not.

  15. - Demoralized - Tuesday, Jun 17, 14 @ 3:12 pm:

    Rule #1 for protests:

    Have actual protestors

    Rule #2:

    If you haven’t met rule #1 don’t bother

  16. - Cheryl44 - Tuesday, Jun 17, 14 @ 3:17 pm:

    As someone who carshares and recycles and all that–I thought the IL law was supposed to lead the way in balancing my concerns about it with those of the people who will benefit from fracking–however many jobs that entails. I applaud that kind of middle of the road compromise and would like to see more legislation written that way.

    But then, I kind of thing the Fracking causes Earthquake people are probably the same ones who think Vaccinations cause Autism.

  17. - Steve - Tuesday, Jun 17, 14 @ 3:23 pm:

    - Demoralized -
    Victimhood? If Harry Reid says something about the Koch brothers it must be true. Harry Reid got into politics to serve the public interest. Who could doubt Harry Reid or his family’s concern about the public welfare???

  18. - OneMan - Tuesday, Jun 17, 14 @ 3:24 pm:


    No a lot more science behind the fraking/quake link

    Not saying it’s a showstopper or even confirmed, but it is a lot for scientific that the Vax Autism stuff..

  19. - olddog - Tuesday, Jun 17, 14 @ 3:24 pm:

    Rule #3:

    Don’t take a wide-angle picture in an empty plaza.

  20. - Rich Miller - Tuesday, Jun 17, 14 @ 3:26 pm:

    ===Harry Reid ===

    Find another blog to blabber on about Harry Reid. Stick to Illinois politics when you’re here.

  21. - LINK - Tuesday, Jun 17, 14 @ 3:32 pm:

    On a side note, North Dakota is now the Number #2 producer of oil in the US. They broke 1 million barrels per day last month…

  22. - Demoralized - Tuesday, Jun 17, 14 @ 3:33 pm:

    Dang it! Another shot down the hatch for Steve.

  23. - logic not emotion - Tuesday, Jun 17, 14 @ 4:07 pm:

    There is a lot of “real” science based information out there if the anti-fracking people want to review it. There is a Robert Bauer with the Illinois State Geological Survey who has a pretty informative PowerPoint.

  24. - Responsa - Tuesday, Jun 17, 14 @ 4:25 pm:

    People in central and southern Illinois need good jobs. People need to be able to feed their families and keep their homes. Illinois needs the tax dollars from employed people.

  25. - That guy - Tuesday, Jun 17, 14 @ 4:30 pm:

    Maybe it wasn’t sunny enough for their solar cars or windy enough for their windmill cars. I appreciate the intellectual honesty of not using the thing you’re protesting to get to the protest. I’m sure tthat’s the reason.

  26. - Chicago Cynic - Tuesday, Jun 17, 14 @ 5:29 pm:

    Those who work with enviros know there are the serious folks like ELPC and the radical fringe like Will Reynolds. Sorry Will, getting 500 people on a giant college campus like SIU doesn’t indicate much of anything. Getting six to protest in Chicago sure does.

    That said, Cheryl44, the link between earthquakes and fracking is all too real. Not saying a bunch of 2.8 earthquakes means you kill fracking, but study it, regulate the hell out of it and don’t ignore real issues. Meantime, I’ll believe the 30-50,000 jobs number when they demonstrate any success here.

  27. - MrJM (@MisterJayEm) - Tuesday, Jun 17, 14 @ 5:52 pm:

    So it wasn’t a Battlestar Galactica-themed abstinence-only rally?

    – MrJM

  28. - 1776 - Tuesday, Jun 17, 14 @ 6:19 pm:

    Hey Will. While yo claim that “many are voters in his district” I presume you’re not talking about group leader Annette McMichael and her Green PR firm based out of Monticello or your exalted leader Lora Chamberlain who is from Chicago who picks issues du jour. I would guess your definition of “many” was probably 3-5. Pretty impressive to be able to meet in a phone booth.

    The fact is that Will and the radical fringe groups won’t accept anything. My question would be would you rather have the IL law that is the strongest in the US or no law so that fracturing could occur without regulations? Please answer and let us know your preference.

  29. - Neglected stepchild - Tuesday, Jun 17, 14 @ 6:41 pm:

    Fractivists are a bunch of feeble weenies, chicken littles. We’ve been tracking here for decades dammit, and there are no two-headed children and the noticeable earthquakes can be counted on two fingers. And I’d be happy to show them the middle one.

  30. - ELPC - Tuesday, Jun 17, 14 @ 6:54 pm:

    When was the last time ELPC held a public meeting of any kind south of Champaign? Who exactly are they supposed to represent because they sure as hell don’t speak for downstate environmentalists?

  31. - wordslinger - Tuesday, Jun 17, 14 @ 7:01 pm:

    –We’ve been tracking here for decades–

    No, we haven’t. not massive hydraulic fracturing with slickwater techniques in shale. No one has been “doing that for decades.”

    That first successful shale sites were in the late 90s in east Texas. It was a revolutionary advance. To pretend that we’ve been “doing it for decades” is complete BS.

    It’s a different ballgame and the massive scale brings with it greater risks.

    Making stuff up and name-calling doesn’t help your case.

  32. - veritas - Tuesday, Jun 17, 14 @ 8:50 pm:

    wordslinger: We have been fracking in Illinois for over 50 years with NO incidence of groundwater contamination. True that hydraulic fracking is farcking on steroids, but also true that it is being done several more thousand feet below ground level - ergo: the groundwater!! It takes MILLIONS of years for oil to migrate up thru fissures in the rocks and there is this little issue of oil being lighter than water. If contaminated water were miraculously able to migrate up thru thousands of feet of hard and impermeable rock and contaminate the groundwater - you would notice something else: oil. End of story. You are a bright guy, but woefully uninformed on this issue.

  33. - steve schnorf - Tuesday, Jun 17, 14 @ 8:57 pm:

    Word, you know even better than I that any rational communication requires general agreement on what words mean. When I taught in southeastern Illinois almost 50 years ago (decades ago) right in the heart of an large oil producing area and about 5 miles from a very large refinery, people talked about and oil people practiced, and still do, what they called fracking. I understand that what we’re talking about now is different in practice if not in theory, but calling the new process by the same name as the old process does lead to some confusion.

  34. - wordslinger - Tuesday, Jun 17, 14 @ 10:03 pm:

    Schnorf I hear what you’re saying, but it really is quite different. I’m not against it, and I think the Illinois legislation arrived at among various interested parties was a successful exercise in informed compromise.

    But 50 years ago Dep. Fife listening in on the party line was government eavesdropping while today it’s data mining by the NSA.

  35. - Rollo Tomasi - Tuesday, Jun 17, 14 @ 11:39 pm:

    I did not know that Elizabeth Warren had that many relatives.

  36. - wahhhh - Wednesday, Jun 18, 14 @ 2:08 am:

    Anytime Will Reynolds is brought up on here, I can’t help but cackle. The guy lives, breathes, eats and sleeps anti coal and fracking. As much as I think he’s a nut job, I’d get even more of a kick out of him if he were in the assembly or something. Then he could spew his enviro garbage all the time.

  37. - S.E. Illinois - Wednesday, Jun 18, 14 @ 11:11 am:

    As great as this piece is, the thing that really seemed to whip up the anti-frackers was the involvement of the counter-protesters from the local union hall.

    What actually happened in the Marion enviro-protest flop is that the anti-frackers left CARBONDALE, the bosom of their little “movement.”

    The further east they go (into areas with a long history of oil well drilling and hydrofrac) the more opposition they will experience. The locals in places like Carmi, Fairfield and McLeansboro are quite aware of the facts on this issue and are anxious to get going with whatever potential may exist with the improved drilling methods.

Sorry, comments for this post are now closed.

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