Fracking still under debate in Southern Illinois
When environmentalists asked Gov. Pat Quinn to provide a moratorium on hydraulic fracturing, called fracking, until regulation was put in place to provide oversight on the practice, Quinn said he believed something must be done but he was not sure what.
“This particular procedure, if it’s done properly, may be an opportunity to develop energy,” he said at a press conference earlier this summer. “It deserves careful analysis and review.”
With mining companies leasing mineral rights in Johnson County, the need to understand and regulate fracking is closer to home more than ever, says Johnson County residents opposed to fracking.
Fracking is a possibility throughout Southern Illinois and its emergence has been the impetus of the people who created a group called SAFE (Southern Illinoisans Against Fracturing our Environment).
SAFE issued a press release Saturday announcing a general assembly meeting at the Carbondale Civic Center Tuesday, Oct. 30 to begin at 6 p.m. and provide a forum for its goal of putting a moratorium on hydraulic fracturing in Illinois.
Many farmers and landowners see fracking as an economic opportunity while environmentalists have concerns over the volume of water consumed and the chemicals used in the fracturing process.
An earlier bill in Illinois that would have required the disclosure of chemicals being used failed to pass and SAFE is pushing for a new bill HB3897 and SB3280 in its pursuit to create regulation. Proponents of hydraulic fracturing say the process is completely safe and it has been performing the process for more than 30 years.
While Gov. Quinn has not stated his position on the new bills, he did say when it comes to Illinois’ water supply, “we have to be super careful” that it is not affected by this particular procedure.
“Having said that, it deserves study and we should carefully study it, other states are doing the same and we have to go forward in Illinois,” said Quinn.