Illinois Fracking Update
Statement of Jack Darin
Sierra Club, Illinois Chapter
Tuesday the Illinois House Executive Committee is expected to consider SB1715, which contains measures to regulate high-volume horizontal fracturing, or “fracking” for gas in Illinois.
Sierra Club opposes fracking in Illinois. Fracking poses grave dangers to our communities, land, air, and water; and contributes to the continued destabilization of our climate. The safest and smartest way to protect ourselves would be to immediately enact a moratorium to allow for thorough study of the risks of fracking and to learn from the experiences in other states and major health studies currently underway. HB3086 and SB1418 would each enact a two-year moratorium on the dangerous practice, and Sierra Club supports these proposals.
Sadly, fracking is legal in our state today, and evidence suggests that in fact it is already occurring, putting our citizens and environment at grave risk. Strong regulatory measures are essential to protect the environment and public health, and the provisions of 1715 are improvements on our pre-World War II era oil and gas regulations. However, new regulations will not make fracking safe. Our support for these additional protections does not mean we have confidence that fracking can be done safely or without pollution. No one should point to SB1715 as a model for how fracking can be done safely, or as evidence that the Sierra Club supports fracking.
With dangerous fracking likely already underway in Illinois, it is urgent that the act General Assembly before adjourning the Spring session. We reiterate our call on Springfield to consider and approve a two-year moratorium to best protect our communities.