• BREAKING NEWS: Ill. passes nation’s toughest fracking regulations

    by  • May 31, 2013 • News

    (AP) — Illinois lawmakers have approved the nation’s strictest regulations on high-volume oil and gas drilling, sending the measure to Gov. Pat Quinn. fracking

    As part of a bipartisan economic development effort to bring thousands of jobs to southern Illinois , State Sen. Dave Luechtefeld (R-Okawville) applauded the passage of a “fracking” legislative package.

    “It is not all that often that the oil and gas industry, environmentalists, job creators and others can agree on a plan that will protect the land and water supply, but safely allow professionals to extract the petroleum resources we need to get our economy moving forward,” Luechtefeld said. “ Southern Illinois is rich in oil and gas fields and I feel confident this proposal will encourage job growth.”

    Senator Luechtefeld is a co-sponsor of Senate Bill 1715, an “agreed to” bill and has been estimated as bringing several billions of dollars in economic development and thousands of employment opportunities to southern Illinois .

    The Senate passed the bill 52-3 on Friday.

    Quinn has said he’ll sign the bill, which establishes rules oil and gas companies must follow during hydraulic fracturing, or fracking. The method uses high-pressure mixtures of water, sand or gravel and chemicals to crack underground rock formations and release oil and natural gas.

    The measure requires companies to disclose chemicals and to test water before and after drilling. It also holds them liable for contamination.

    Supporters say fracking would create thousands of jobs in southern Illinois. Opponents worry it would cause pollution and deplete water resources. They’re pushing for a moratorium.