Illinois Republican Congressional candidate Mike Bost has some unusual beliefs about environmentalists and fracking. In a recent radio interview, Bost said about environmentalists:
“…if it was up to them, people should die and everything else should exist. Now, I know because I was in the negotiations with them.”
Bost was referring to his role negotiating the law that will open Illinois to fracking. Several groups based in Chicago, including Faith-in-Place, NRDC, and the Environmental Law & Policy Center participated in negotiations and supported the law over the objection of environmentalists in areas that will be most impacted.
Now, I wasn't present for negotiations but I've never heard staff for any of those groups suggest anything remotely similar to the opinion that people should die and everything else should exist. In fact, most climate change and anti-fracking activists are involved to save human life.
Many of us noticed that fracking made North Dakota the deadliest state to work in.
We know the massive increase in trucks transporting dangerous chemicals is yet another unavoidable deadly hazard, especially since toxic spills shutting down I-57 in southern Illinois is already a regular story.
But Mike Bost is excited about fracking because it will bring tax revenue and jobs. He's willing to sacrifice human life for the sake of transient temp jobs that will mostly go to out-of-state workers for the profit of out-of-state companies. And he has the balls to accuse environmentalists of not caring about human life?
Surprisingly, this is considered a competitive race. Fracking is highly controversial in the district. A poll taken last year showed southern Illinois evenly split on whether fracking should be allowed, with 54% of independents opposed. That's remarkable considering the same poll claims 80% support coal mining. Opposition is growing but there's a conspicuous absence of regional or statewide polls on the topic since then. His support for fracking will cost Bost support among moderates and independents.
Because I'm pretty certain no real-world environmentalist ever expressed to Bost the views he claims, I have to wonder what imaginary tree-huggers he was negotiating with. Do other people see them? Do they always take human form? Does he typically win arguments with his imaginary enemies or lose? Hopefully someone on his staff can help if these mysterious negotiators make more demands.