Despite concerns over the impact of “fracking”, Illinois legislators adjourned their spring session without taking action to regulate the controversial drilling process. As Rachel Otwell reports, companies have already descended on southern Illinois in hopes of finding untapped energy sources far underground:
Oil and gas companies are hoping to unearth deposits of gas, oil, and hydrocarbons that lie far under shale rock in southern Illinois. They’ve already spent millions on acquiring land leases.
Attempts to set fracking standards came up short.
The Senate passed a measure that would have put some regulations in place.
But it stalled in the House, and environmentalists say it didn’t go far enough.
They preferred a different measure that popped up on the final day of legislative session. It would put a halt to any drilling in Illinois for a year or two.
But session ended before it was called for a vote.
Republican Representative Pam Roth from Coal City says a fracking ban would curtail an economic boom.
ROTH: “Your… moratorium’s going to kill hundreds of millions and dollars and thousands of jobs in an economy and in a time when that is ludicrous in this state.”
But environmental advocates say a moratorium would allow time for research to be done about what they claim are harmful effects of fracking, like water contamination and loss of value to farm land.