Gov. Pat Quinn believes something must be done about fracking, but he doesn’t know what. Land-owners in Southern Illinois are beseeching the state to enact regulations regarding hydraulic fracturing, a method of natural gas extraction that, with the latest technology, raises environmental concerns. They’re asking the governor to declare a moratorium until rules are in place.
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The governor says we must be “super careful” with our water supply, but he doesn’t want to halt fracking, because it might be economically beneficial. “This particular procedure, if it’s done properly, may be an opportunity to develop energy,” he said. Fracking is seen as an economic opportunity for farmers, but environmental concerns include the volume of water consumed, chemical use, possible contamination of wells and aquifers, and disposal of waste fluids. Fracking is exempt from federal clean water regulations, and the process is regulated by the state in only the most rudimentary way, the same as traditional vertical oil and gas drilling are.