Fracking interests are impatient. Legislation to allow and regulate hydraulic fracturing as a means of extracting oil and gas passed last year, but the Department of Natural Resources is still working on the rules to implement the law. Fracking interests are saying hurry up! “Job creation is of critical importance, especially in Southern Illinois, and we need the Illinois Department of Natural Resources to finalize and implement the rules in order to re-charge the economic development in that area of the state that has been hit so hard by unemployment,” Illinois AFL-CIO President Michael T. Carrigan said Wednesday in Springfield.
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The DNR is sifting through thousands of public comments, many of them from anti-fracking activists, such as Will Reynolds. “There’s no scientific basis to claim that fracking can be made safe by regulation,” he said. Fracking opponents worry that fracking will consume too much water, and that if anything goes wrong, water supplies will be contaminated. A bill that would have bypassed the DNR on this issue does not have the support to pass, so the pro-fracking interests are now just urging the DNR to hurry. The DNR has until November to implement the rules.