Monday, March 11, 2013

Fracking in Illinois

Yes, fracking is coming to Illinois. The question is, will the companies get to do whatever they want or will they have to work for the privilege? Fracking, the process of extracting shale from the ground has become big business in the past 10 years, combining the promise of increased employment, economic activity, and increased use of natural gas. There is no question that regions where fracking has been going on have seen increased economic activity and a boom in job creation. On the other hand not everybody has done well by this, frequently land is taken by the owners—who frequently do not have “mineral  rights” and if you are in the area but do not want fracking on your land there is no guarantee you can do such a thing. Even if you can hold on to your land if you are surrounded by industry it’s really not any different.

There are two bills up for consideration, one agreed to by industry, and one that puts a moratorium on fracking for two years while issues of safety are worked out. Among  many issues, fracking uses huge amounts of water, which should be of concern since the areas under consideration are the same areas that suffered tremendously in the drought last year. Global warming trends  suggest this trend will get worse. The question of water quality, that is that the water in the area will not be harmed is an open question. Even though the areas of fracking are far from Chicago water has a funny way of getting around. The Illinois Green Party is for the moratorium bill.
The moratorium bill does not outlaw fracking indefinitely, it puts into place planning . It is a simple fact that corporations have a history of utter disregard for the environment and the people in it. If they can do whatever they want, they will. On the other hand, if we (through the State of Illinois) demand that they show us  AHEAD OF TIME  that they can do what they want safely, then we all win.  Find out more at

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