Illinois Fracking Rules Approved

Nov 6, 2014

A coalition lobbying for a fracking moratorium protested Illinois' pending legislation during the 2013 General Assembly session.
Credit WUIS

A fracking law passed in 2013 could soon finally take effect in Illinois -- it's expected drillers will find oil and gas in southern Illinois. A bipartisan legislative committee Thursday gave its okay to a revised set of regulations. 

The long wait is an indication of how controversial hydraulic fracturing is; supporters hail its opportunity to spur economic growth while environmentalists decry the potential damage it may cause.

Passing a law was supposed to be the hard part, but the two sides came to a compromise. It's over the details since that they've departed. 

Despite the committee's action, a divide remains. 

The Illinois Manufacturing Association's Mark Denzler says he's thrilled with the new rules:

"There's no doubt this will protect the air water and land, while allowing industry to develop in Illinois."

The Natural Resources Defense Council's Ann Alexander says things WERE working well ...

"Up until the point when the draft was then sent into a smoke-filled room for negotiations that we didn't participate in; the public was not invited to."

Making her uneasy about what exactly is in the final version.