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Protesters Seek Rejection of First Fracking Well in US State of Illinois

© East News / Science Photo LibraryFracking drill rig
Fracking drill rig - Sputnik International
The advocacy group Food and Water Watch said that demonstrators in the US state of Illinois are the urging the Department of Natural Resources and Governor Bruce Rauner to reject an application for the state’s first well to use hydraulic fracturing.

A group of union workers, right, holding signs supporting coal energy show their opposition to a group of environmental activists as they march through the streets of downtown Pittsburgh targeting fracking, coal, nuclear power, and the dangers of climate change (File) - Sputnik International
Dozens Rally in US City of Pittsburgh Over Fracking Activities
WASHINGTON (Sputnik) — Demonstrators in the US state of Illinois are the urging the Department of Natural Resources and Governor Bruce Rauner to reject an application for the state’s first well to use hydraulic fracturing (fracking), claiming the controversial drilling practice would result in an environmental catastrophe, according the advocacy group Food and Water Watch.

"When oil companies frack, they leave a trail of devastation behind them. We’ve seen this in Ohio, in Pennsylvania, in Texas, and in North Dakota, Food and Water Watch official Mel Whitehouse stated in the release on Monday. "We’re looking at you, Governor Rauner, and the rest of the officials we elected in Illinois to step up and protect us."

Food and Water Watch aired its demands in a protest with more than 100 activists in the city of Chicago, which warned that fracking causes earthquakes, exposes people cancer-causing radioactive elements such as radon and creates other health risks.

Oil and gas drillers use fracking, in which water and chemicals are injected into the ground at high pressure to increase well output.

The industry claims the process is safe if done properly. But high-profile cases of contaminated drinking water have made the practice controversial, and some states have banned the practice.

An energy company has applied to use fracking in a large shale deposit that overlaps three states, including southern Illinois.

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