SPRINGFIELD - The pro-fracking "Growing Resources and Opportunity for the Workforce" (GROW-IL) coaltion put out a press release today celebrating that the is Illinois Department of Natural Resources (IDNR) finally promulgated rules to implement the Hydraulic Fracturing Regulatory Act that was signed into law by Governor Pat Quinn last June.
Fracking has been delayed for more than a year in Illinois because the necessary rules had not been implemented by the Quinn administration. Today, those rules were turned over to the Illinois Joint Committee on Administrative Rules (JCAR) to review and take action.
"We appreciate IDNR and their detailed work and hope that the rules match the hydraulic fracturing law that was passed and negotiated very carefully," said Mark Denzler, vice president and COO of the Illinois Manufacturers' Association and a co-chair of GROW-IL. "Illinois' fracturing law has the toughest regulations in the nation, and it is supported by environmental organizations, the business community and agricultural interests."
According to a study by Illinois State University professor Dr. David Loomis, the New Albany shale formation covering a substantial portion of southern Illinois could potentially have a $9.5 billion economic impact in our state and produce up to 47,000 jobs annually.
"There are so many men and women in Illinois who are ready to start working," said AFL-CIO President Michael Carrigan. "We're pleased that rules are being finalized, and we thank Director Miller and IDNR for their hard work on getting this done. Southern Illinois is the area that will benefit most from these good-paying hydraulic fracturing jobs, and that's the part of the state that's suffering the most with unemployment."
"It's time to the put the past behind us and move forward. We're anxious to begin creating jobs and economic development in Illinois under a regulatory system designed to protect Illinois' air, water and land," said Jim Watson, executive director of the Illinois Petroleum Council.