Not everyone is happy that the governor wants hydraulic fracturing. In his Budget Address, the governor said“fracking” is coming to Illinois with the potential to create thousands of jobs. And while the governor says legislation permitting the oil- and natural gas-producing practice will have the “strongest environmental regulations in the nation,” some are concerned about the environmental effects.
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“Fracking can be a very dangerous undertaking and certainly could turn Southern Illinois into an industrial wasteland if we’re not careful here,” said Annette McMichael, spokeswoman Southern Illinoisans Against Fracturing Our Environment (SAFE). McMichael says SAFE doesn’t understand the rush to begin fracking when other states are signing moratoriums on the practice. “Let’s do it right and make sure we’re not jeopardizing people’s health,” McMichael said. She says fracking occurs under the water table, putting water supplies at risk. She also says legislation allowing fracking doesn’t address the drain on local water supplies.
Groups in support of hydraulic fracturing include labor unions and the Illinois Chamber of Commerce. Hydraulic fracturing is the process of releasing oil and natural gas from rock deposits deep underground by fracturing shale formations.