Business, labor, and energy leaders are urging the governor and the Illinois Department of Natural Resources to move forward on hydraulic fracturing regulations.
A number of southern Illinois leaders met in Marion Tuesday to encourage the state to quickly finish the administrative rule making process. They say it will be 400 days this week since the state passed the fracking regulatory act. Mark Denzler is the Vice President of the Illinois Manufacturers' Association. He says southern Illinois is missing out on real jobs because of the delay. Denzler says they are very frustrated. He says by comparison the state's medical marijuana administrative rules were finalized last week - about six months after the law was passed.
Wayne Woolsey is the owner of Woosley Energy Corporation and has been involved in the oil and gas industry for more than 40-years in the Kansas area. He says they have invested in more than 250,000- acres and have drilled more than a half dozen test wells in southern Illinois in the past two years. he says they are ready to begin wells using horizontal hydraulic fracturing but unless the state acts soon he's afraid they may have to move on to Indiana.
State Senator Gary Forby says, as written, the law has up to $9-Billion dollars in tax revenue for the state. He says if even half of that amount is realized it would go a long way toward putting people to work and balancing the state's budget.
Officials with the Illinois Department of Natural Resources have been unavailable for comment. Earlier this month IDNR Director Marc Miller told the Associated Press that the agency is working diligently and will meet a November 15th legal deadline to have the fracking rules in place. Miller also says the agency hopes to hire another 15-staff members by the end of the month that is needed to enforce and manage high-volume hydraulic fracturing in Illinois.