Check the status of this bill: SB3386
- Communities and Countries are Banning Fracking: Horizontal drilling with fracturing, (fracking), is a very dangerous, industrialized, extractive technology that has caused many documented cases of health effects, water contamination, significant air pollution, water shortages, spills, fires, blowouts, traffic congestion and accidents, hundreds of induced earthquakes, and the release of methane gas that is accelerating climate change. As hard as the industry is trying to sell this technology, many countries, states, provinces, counties, cities and towns around the world are banning or limiting fracking: http://www.foodandwaterwatch.org/water/fracking/fracking-action-center/local-action-documents/ and http://keeptapwatersafe.org/global-bans-on-fracking/. These countries and communities are finding that this technology is just too dangerous to allow within their jurisdictions and that the oil and natural gas corporations are not the trust-worthy neighbors that their PR campaigns portray them to be.
- Illinois residents are extremely concerned about what is already known about fracturing, and about the draft rules for fracking in Illinois. During the public comment period for the rules for fracking, Nov 15th, 2013 – Jan, 3rd, 2014, over 30,000 comments were sent to the IDNR, and over 1,000 residents testified at public hearings about the egregious draft rules for fracking, http://sierraclubillinois.wordpress.com/tag/fracking/, some of the public comments can be seen here: http://www.protectilfromfracking.org/
- The Hydraulic Fracturing Regulatory Act, (HFRA), will not apply to approximately 2/3rds or more of the fracturing wells that are planned for Illinois. Not all fracturing for oil and natural gas is “High Volume, Hydraulic Fracturing”. The New Albany Shale Gas Project, report # 07122-16, completed in November, 2010, was written to help develop alternative gas, foam, gel, nitrogen, and chemical methods of fracturing the shallow shale of Illinois. These alternative gas, foam, gel, nitrogen, and chemical methods of fracturing might not use 300,000 gallons of water, so they will not qualify for most of the regulations, stipulations, bonds, insurance and the production tax under HFRA. Therefore, the Act does not truly regulate all “fracturing” in Illinois. These alternative methods of “fracturing” or “stimulation treatments” can be just as dangerous as “High Volume, Hydraulic Fracturing”. The intention by the industry to use fracturing processes that use mainly gas, foam, gel, nitrogen, and chemicals, has been made apparent by the Illinois Oil and Gas Association in a comment to the IDNR, during the public comment period on the draft rules for fracking, and reported to the media: The industry commented that the General Assembly when passing HFRA, “specifically did not contemplate applying these rigid requirements to all forms of stimulation treatment”. HFRA has been misrepresented to the general legislative body and to the concerned public as regulating all fracturing processes, but actually only regulates fracturing processes using mainly water. More information can be found at the Chicago Tribune article: “Illinois fracking law has big loophole, environmentalists say”
- The GA and the public have the right to know exactly the techniques, chemicals and risks of all alternative fracturing processes and stimulation treatments planned for our communities. With or without the use of millions of gallons of water, the GA and the public have the right to know and the right to weigh in on all of the fracturing techniques and their risks to the public health and the environment, legislatively and publicly. A ban on horizontal drilling with fracturing operations and an enhanced investigative Task Force will give the General Assembly and the public the scientific background it needs to evaluate all of the alternative fracturing processes, techniques, chemicals and their risks.
- Production taxes, regulations, bonding and insurance requirements need to be evaluated and applied to all alternative fracturing processes and techniques, before the state allows them to move forward in Illinois. The residents of Illinois are counting on their elected officials to pay attention to what the oil and natural gas corporations actually plan to do in our communities and to determine if it is safe to allow them to proceed. Please halt the permits for horizontal drilling with fracturing operations and begin the scientific investigation that we need, to understand how we should be regulating all of these alternative fracturing techniques and “stimulation treatments”.
- The IDNR will most likely not be conducting scientific evaluations of these alternative fracturing techniques and “stimulation treatments”. By their own admission in the draft rules for fracking, released in November 2013, the IDNR did not consult independent, science-based research institutions and/or communities.
- Because the health and safety of the residents of IL should be of the highest concern to the members of the GA, more information is needed before all forms of fracturing can be allowed to go forward. Recently, Environment America delivered letters from more than 1,000 doctors, nurses, and other health professionals to President Obama asserting that fracking should be stopped, given the overwhelming threats to public health. www.environmentamerica.org/news/amc/1000-health-professionals-call-president-obama-act-fracking
- More information about the reasons to ban fracking can be found at: http://documents.foodandwaterwatch.org/doc/Ban_Fracking_Now.pdf
Purpose of the Bill:
- Prohibits accepting of permit applications for any and all horizontal drilling with fracturing operations and/or high volume horizontal hydraulic fracturing operations.
- Expands the task force created in the original Hydraulic Fracturing Regulatory Act, (HFRA), to include appropriate state agencies and independent experts to insure that the findings of the task force will cover all alternative forms of fracturing operations and related consequences in a fair and independent manner.
- Ban fracking in Illinois. Without this legislation, the oil and natural gas industry will most likely call the shots and profits will reign over people’s health and the environment. And perform a comprehensive, science-based investigation of the dangers and long-term impact of fracturing in our state.
- Please co-sponsor and support SB3386.