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November 10, 2014

Illinois Moves Forward With Hydraulic Fracturing

A state legislative committee last week unanimously approved Illinois’s pending regulation governing hydraulic fracturing (“fracking”) in the state. According to The Associated Press, the move allows oil and gas companies to apply for fracking permits after the rule is published in mid-November. Illinois Manufacturers’ Association Chief Operating Officer Mark Denzler told The Associated Press he was “thrilled” with the approval. 

The regulation is the product of a bill passed by the Illinois legislature in 2013. Last year Denzler argued that bill would benefit the entire Illinois economy. He wrote, “Illinois needs to utilize hydraulic fracturing to grow and expand our energy portfolio that already includes nuclear, wind and solar energy, and coal-fired plants while reducing our reliance on foreign sources of oil. [Fracking] provides a lost-cost source of energy for Illinois businesses and residents that will save money. New environmental technologies used by companies combined with affordable domestic natural gas have resulted in the lowest levels of greenhouse gas emissions in twenty years.” 

The final regulation requires the state approve or deny the permits within 60 days, which means new projects could start very soon after the new year.