There’s something for everybody not to like in the rollout of the latest proposed rules for implementing hydraulic fracturing in Illinois. Not only did the proposal take 14 months to write, the rules are too restrictive, in the opinion of Mark Denzler, vice president of the Illinois Manufacturers’ Association.
“We like to look at the medical marijuana (law) as an example,” he says. “The fracturing bill took effect June 17 of last year. The medical marijuana took effect Jan. 1 of this year. The medical marijuana rules are already up and done and going.”
Denzler says businesses are tired of waiting and are starting to give up on Illinois; and, he suggests, it’s possible that’s what the Quinn administration wants all along.
Anti-fracker Annette McMichael of Ozark, Ill., won’t go that far. “Well, I wouldn’t put my neck out on that one,” she says. “We’ll have to take a look at what’s in there.”
The next stop for the rules is a panel of lawmakers, the Joint Commission on Administrative Rules, which could take them up in October.
Hydraulic fracturing, which boosters say is good business but which opponents say is bad for the environment, injects water, sand, and chemicals deep into the earth to force out oil and gas deposits.