House Speaker Backs Fracking Delay

madiganIllinois House Speaker Michael Madigan doesn’t want Illinois to allow fracking, a controversial process that injects a mixture of water and chemicals deep underground to reach oil and natural gas reserves.

Companies are longing to access the oil and natural gas laced in the rocks of the New Albany Shale, in southeastern Illinois.

Illinois lawmakers are considering two key options: Permit hydraulic fracturing but regulate how it’s done. Or forbid the practice entirely.

It’s split the environmental community. And now, Democratic leaders.

In his budget address, Governor Pat Quinn framed fracking as inevitable, and encouraged legislators to pass regulations.

“Fracking is coming to Illinois, with the strongest environmental regulations in the nation.”

But House Speaker Michael Madigan wants it banned.

REPORTERS: “Do you support the moratorium or?”
MADIGAN: “Absolutely. I’m for the moratorium.”
REPORTERS: “Over the regulation?”
MADIGAN: “Absolutely.”
REPORTERS: “Because?”
MADIGAN: “Read about what happened in Pennsylvania.”

In Pennsylvania, studies have blamed fracking for poisoned groundwater, though the industry denies any link.

– Amanda Vinicky.

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