Fracking Clears Hurdle with Tax Deal

House Speaker Michael Madigan said Wednesday he favors a temporary ban on the oil and gas drilling technique known as “fracking.” But developments at the Capitol Thursday suggest a deal to pave the way for hydraulic fracturing is still on track. Brian Mackey has more on what might have been a case of media manipulation.

The Speaker doesn’t tip his hand very often, so when he makes a comment in public, people take notice. That’s what happened Wednesday when reporters asked where he stood on Rep. John Bradley’s compromise legislation to regulate fracking.

MADIGAN: “I’m for the moratorium.”
REPORTER: “Over the regulation?”
MADIGAN: “Absolutely.”
REPORTER: “Because?”
REPORTER: “You don’t support the Bradley bill?”
MADIGAN: “Read about what happened in Pennsylvania.”

Bradley and other prominent officials — including Attorney General Lisa Madigan — had negotiated with both business interests and environmental groups to agree on the regulations. But as of Wednesday morning, they were still negotiating over what taxes and fees the drillers would pay.

Lo and behold, just hours after the Speaker made his seemingly ominous remarks, they had an agreement. When Rep. Bradley was asked about the timing of Speaker Madigan’s remark, he broke into a big, silent smile …

BRADLEY: “… Well, uh, I’m just happy that we got something done.”

Bradley, who’s one of Madigan’s top lieutenants, says he doesn’t expect legislators will ever get the chance to vote on a fracking moratorium.

— Brian Mackey

UPDATE: Illinois Issues asked Madigan whether he supported a moratorium in order to push the tax deal. “No comment,” he said.

This entry was posted in Statehouse and tagged , , . Bookmark the permalink.

2 Responses to Fracking Clears Hurdle with Tax Deal

  1. Jan Thomas says:

    Why did we elect these people????? They aren’t working for the people of Illinois at all, they’re just lining their own pockets.

  2. We need to continue to educate our legislators on the extreme dangers of fracking and the total ineffectiveness of IDNR to regulate anything.

Comment on this Story

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s