GOP Candidates for Governor Support High Volume Hydraulic Fracturing
The four Republican candidates running for Governor all favor the development of high volume hydraulic fracturing in Illinois.
The state is still in the process of finalizing the regulations on the extraction process - which many say are some of the most stringent in the country. GOP candidate Bill Brady says fracking is a good idea. He says its a great opportunity to develop the bottom third of the state and could make Illinois an energy self sufficient state.
Candidate Kirk Dillard says, while fracking is largely seen as a southern Illinois issue, other parts of the state will benefit too, such as the LaSalle-Peru area where Dillard says the sand produced there could be used in the fracking process in southern Illinois. Dillard says the Sierra Club has signed off on the new regulations so he's sure it will do well.
Republican candidate Bruce Rauner says using Illinois' natural energy resources can improve the state. He says fracking is a unique opportunity to develop a strategic energy source that will lead to job growth.
Candidate Dan Rutherford says he's not concerned about the state's water supply suffering from high volume hydraulic fracturing. He says as governor he would continue to drink the water in southern Illinois. He also says he knows the regulations are working through their final approval and he's convinced the state will get the best set of rules possible.
The Illinois Department of Natural Resources took written comments through Jan. 3rd. More than 20,000 comments were submitted by mail and on line. The department held five public hearings across the state during November and December. The Joint Committee on Administrative Rules is in the process of determining how the hydraulic fracturing regulations will be implemented. The majority of high volume hydraulic fracturing is expected to take place in a 17-county region in southern and southwestern Illinois. The Mt. Vernon based Illinois Oil and Gas Association has estimated that more than $200-million has already been invested in high volume hydraulic fracturing in the region. Supporters say fracking will create thousands of jobs. Opponents fear it will pollute local water resources.