Jakobsson fracking moratorium bill clears committee

Jakobsson fracking moratorium bill clears committee

SPRINGFIELD — House Democrats rammed through legislation, with eight hours remaining in the spring session, to impose on two-year moratorium on horizontal hydraulic fracturing for oil and gas in Illinois.

The legislation, SB 3280, sponsored by Rep. Naomi Jakobsson, D-Urbana, was approved 11-6 on a party-line vote. In order to get to the governor's desk, however, the bill will need to be approved by the full House and Senate by midnight.

Supporters said the moratorium is needed in order for a 13-member task force to be appointed and to study what type of "fracking" regulation is needed in Illinois.

But opponents said the measure would severely damage the oil and gas industry in Illinois, and strike a blow against economic recovery in southeastern Illinois where companies have signed leases to explore.

No companies are currently practicing hydraulic fracturing in Illinois, where large volumes of water and chemicals are used to explore for gas and oil.

"We estimate there were 10 to 12 who were leasing — I'll use past tense now because they're going home," said Brad Richards, executive vice of the Illinois Oil & Gas Association. "The moratorium, just to have it get floated around, makes a lot of these companies question the political risk here.

"We want to tell people that we're friendly to business but this clearly indicates otherwise. We're sending out a very clear signal that we're not interested in oil and gas development with this type of vote."

But supporters said the state must step in to prevent water contamination and other environmental problems.

"There are enormous challenges to developing a regulatory regime adequate to contain the environmental and health threats that natural gas fracking presents," said Max Muller of Environment Illinois. "That's due to the high volumes of toxic-laced fluids that are used — 2 to 7 million gallons per frack. The old style of drilling that Illinois is familiar with uses much less water, much less toxic chemicals."

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Sid Saltfork wrote on June 01, 2012 at 6:06 am

Let them move to Indiana.  Mitch Daniels will welcome them with open arms if he has not already.

aantulov wrote on June 24, 2012 at 8:06 am


These FORIEGN owned companies practicing extraction of gas known as “fracking” are exempt from the clean water act therefore they do not have to tell the GOVERMENT or doctors, what they put in the water supply. Therefore they are also exempt from ANY responsibility because well how can you prove it was us who contaminated the water when you don't know what we put in? Starting to smell the DEVIL?

They are making gas cheap now so our countrymen’s own greed will pave the way for the poisoning of our water. People who have not sold mineral rights are coming home to find their dog dead as a first sign the water is bad, their land worthless and their health in danger, with no recourse- according to multiple sources featuring real people on the web, search for yourself.

This an attack on country as certain as a terrorists bomb. Is this the American our guys are fighting for … a nation of sheep led to the slaughter? Any jobs these guys are offering are temporary with health risk. Don't fall for this and don't let it slip your mind while they bury it in committee- when did America get so permissive with its spoiled childish investors, just say NO!