Hydraulic fracturing in Illinois

Published January 15, 2013

The Illinois Chamber of Commerce’s Tom Wolf was correct in telling the Tribune that economic benefits from fracking in Illinois are largely unknown (“Illinois’ ‘fracking’ future fractured,” Business, Jan. 13).

But what wasn’t mentioned was the chamber’s minimally estimated 1,000 jobs that could be created downstate from fracking could actually be achieved just by allowing companies to explore for resources – not even produce, just explore.

With 8.7 percent unemployment in Illinois, almost a full percentage point above the national average, there’s no doubt horizontal hydraulic fracturing technology will have to be a major part of our lawmakers’ solution if they’re serious about solving our state’s slow economic recovery and fast outward migration rate.

While we all want the necessary safeguards in place, regulators should not be excessively cautious as to discourage investment in Illinois.

[First published in the Chicago Tribune.]