Statehouse Bubble Bursts: Illinois Revolts Against Fracking

The Statehouse acted in a bubble when they passed Illinois’ fracking law in 2013. The cooperation of a few compromising green groups, the support of a Governor whosometimes defends the environment, and the enthusiasm of a few southern Illinois legislators led many to believe the regulatory bill which allows fracking to move forward was a consensus issue with broad support. In spite of outrage from the environmental grassroots, those who opposed the weak regulatory bill were dismissed by some statehouse insiders as a radical element to be ignored. The bubble burst after the people of Illinois made their voices heard at five hearings held across the state on rules proposed by the Department of Natural Resources. In ten hours of public comments, only half a dozen people expressed support for fracking. Person after person chided DNR for the weak rules and many declared that fracking cannot be made safe.

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