Starkey Citizens for a Clean & Healthy Environment
Sierra Club Says No to Fracking in New York, Yes to Fracking in Illinois

Last year, Sierra Club members were in an uproar after they found out that Chesapeake Energy had donated $25 million to Sierra Club and that Club President Michael Brune had misled members about the donations.

Brune vowed to turn over a new leaf.

Brune said that Sierra Club would not be taking any more natural gas industry money.

(They’re taking $50 million from the Bloomberg Foundation instead.)

Just this week, Sierra Club members got a mass e-mail from the Club’s Deb Nardone urging members to call the White House and tell President Obama to “stop the fracked natural gas rush.”

But Sierra Club members were taken aback again this week when news came from Illinois that Sierra Club was publicly joining hands with the natural gas industry and getting behind legislation that would green light fracking.

Problem is, the Illinois legislation is weaker than the New York legislation that Governor Andrew Cuomo has proposed and the environmental groups there have rejected.

(One example: The Illinois legislation allows fracking on state land, the New York legislation doesn’t.)

But more importantly, Sierra Club is now showing a hard red light in New York (moratorium) but flashing a green light in Illinois (regulation).

Sandra Steingraber, founder of New Yorkers Against Fracking, was born in Champaign and grew up in Tazewell County, Illinois.

“It’s unconscionable that the Sierra Club would conspire with industry to sell my beloved state of Illinois down the river,” Steingraber said. “Sierra Club has dealt us a bad hand.”

For the past four years, the Atlantic Chapter of Sierra Club has successfully pursued a moratorium on fracking in New York.

And Steingraber supports that position — for New York, for her native Illinois and for the country.

Sierra Club insiders say there was heavy e-mail traffic yesterday blasting Brune for “talking out of both sides of his mouth.”
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