Online Staff Report
SPRINGFIELD, Ill. — In a landmark vote Thursday night, May 30, the Illinois House approved a bipartisan fracking bill that would regulate high-volume oil and gas drilling and create an estimated 45,000 jobs in Illinois.
Hydraulic fracturing, more commonly referred to as “fracking,” is the extraction of natural gas and oil from the earth to release the natural gas through horizontal drilling. Critics of fracking have argued the process could pose serious environmental concerns.
State Rep. Joe Sosnowski, R-Rockford/Belvidere, said the plan would bring welcomed job news to Illinois.
“By allowing new natural gas production, Illinois will lead the United States toward energy independence in a safer, more productive way while creating thousands of new jobs,” Sosnowski said. “This bill represents the strongest set of hydraulic fracturing regulations in the nation — for the public water supply, for air, and for public health and safety.”
More than a year of negotiations involving both energy and environmental organizations resulted in this bipartisan agreement that permits high-volume fracking while enforcing some of the nation’s strictest water and air protections.
“This is a good bill that offers a dependable, low-cost source of energy that will benefit small businesses and families alike,” Sosnowski said. “This is a great example of how we can work together to move Illinois in the right direction.”
Senate Bill 1715 passed the House by a vote of 108-9, and now moves to the governor for his consideration.
Posted May 31, 2013