Rev. Jesse Jackson Supports Natural Gas Pipeline to Benefit Illinois Community

It is heartening to see that some former vocal pipeline opponents have come around to see the benefits that natural gas provides communities across the country. That includes the Rev. Jesse Jackson, who once protested the Dakota Access Pipeline but is now pushing for a pipeline to serve an Illinois community that is one of the poorest in the country.

Reverend Jesse Jackson and a group of local leaders are working to bring a natural gas line to Pembroke Township to help one of the poorest communities in America have a warmer and happier winter. 

The township, located in southeastern Kankakee County near the state’s border with Indiana, has a median income of around $16,000 a year, well below the poverty line. According to the U.S. Census Bureau, the township has a 30.2 percent unemployment rate and a 33.9 percent poverty rate. 

Many residents in the township use wood-burning fireplaces as their lone sources of heat…

The Mayor of Hopkins Park says natural gas service to his town is long overdue:

“This community has been overlooked for 48 years for natural gas,” Hopkins Park Mayor Mark Hodge said. “We’re in need of industry. We’re in need of jobs, and school needs natural gas to our community.”

As we have noted previously, natural gas not only makes good economic sense, it makes good environmental sense as well:

  • Nearly one-fifth of total U.S. emissions savings since 2010 have been the result of coal-to-gas switching, according to the analysis, according to a report from the International Energy Agency (IEA).
  • Globally, the IEA said more than 500 million tons of CO2 emissions have been avoided in the past decade as a result of increased use of natural gas.
  • The U.S. Energy Information Administration says energy-related carbon emissions are about 13 percent below 2005 levels as a result of greater use of natural gas.
  • This trend is expected to continue in 2019, with the EIA predicting natural gas to help drive a 2 percent decrease in energy-related carbon emissions.

As Pembroke Township resident Cleveland Brown said, ““That would work out for everyone if we could get natural gas. It would make it better for everybody out here.”