Illinois should embrace fracking

Published May 26, 2013

Sandra Steingraber’s op-ed Thursday was disingenuous on many fronts.

First, she stated that hydraulic fracturing, as currently practiced, is too risky for Illinois to utilize. According to the Interstate Oil & Gas Compact Commission, a multistate government agency, 30,000 to 50,000 wells have been hydraulically fractured in Illinois since the 1950s without a single recorded case of groundwater contamination.

Hydraulic fracturing has since advanced, and it’s from those advancements that fracking is now able to allow the same amount of energy to be produced from fewer wells, minimizing its impact on the environment while revolutionizing the United States’ energy outlook. No state or federal regulator from anywhere where hydraulic fracturing is currently utilized has been able to cite a single case of contamination from the hydraulic fracturing process.

Over the past 15 years, people have been leaving Illinois at a rate of one resident every 10 minutes, according to the Illinois Policy Institute, and Steingraber states in her column that she too, once made the decision to leave. With the latest labor statistics showing Illinois unemployment having recently jumped to the second highest in the nation, things aren’t likely to get better on their own.

We need to take proactive measures to responsibly harness our economic resources and not get left behind the energy revolution sweeping the nation.

[First published in the State Journal-Register.]