SPRINGFIELD - Admitting the failure of legislation proposed by State Rep. John Bradley to circumvent the Illinois Department of Natural Resources by directly instituting hydraulic fracking rules via the General Assembly, State Rep. David Reis (R-Ste. Marie) led a call for fracking to begin in Illinois.
"All that needs to be done is that the Governor and the DNR present a second draft of the regulations, and fracking will be able to begin," Rep. Reis said at a press conference in the Capitol with other members of a diverse coalition supporting fracking. "Politlcally-driven delays by the governor, his administration and departments are single-handedly stymieing the process," he said. "We need to get busy fracking."
Mark Denzler, CEO of Illinois Manufacturers Association, headed the pro-fracking GROW Association.
"Even the environmental community said we had the strongest environmental protections in the country. We worked to protect Illinois' air, water and land. Second we wanted to bring jobs to Illinois," Denzler said. "It's been a year, it's time for the governor and DNR to move on fracking rules."
Michael Kerrigan of the AFL-CIO "It's not often the Illinois Manufacturers ASsociation and the Illinois AFL-CIO stand together in support of something. Today we come to together to call for Illinois to start fracking," Kerrigan said. "It's about jobs, jobs and jobs."
In State Rep. John Cavaletto's southern Illinois district, the unemployment rate is at 11 percent and hundreds of thousands of land leases sit untapped in the New Albany. "It's time to move forward - we're badly in need of jobs in our district, people paying taxes, and growing this state back."
The Illinois fracking agreement included specific details on fracking aspects - more than any other state. "The bill has 150 pages, while Indiana's has 10 pages and California's has 20 pages," Reis said. "We wrote the rules into the bill... Even the Sierra Club agreed with the proposal the governor signed into law last year."
Although Rep, Bradley attempted to get rules through the legislature, and most involved in negotiations rejected the moratorium that his proposal included.
"The legislation is probably not going to move," Reis said. "Let's get fracking moving in Illinois."