Saturday, January 24, 2015

Foot dragging: Pat Quinn's Illinois missed out on the fracking boom

Southern Illinois--Trail of Tears Route
Illinois' Democrats, just as in other states, are beholden to the environmentalists and their money. Still, somehow the Democratic super-majority approved fracking in the economically-challenged state in 2013, but the state took its time as far as issuing drilling permits, bowing to pressure from the greenies. That led one downstate county to sue the state last fall, even before then the Chicago Tribune wrote, "Drilling should have started by now." But unpopular incumbent Gov. Pat Quinn, a Chicago Democrat, faced a tough election and needed environmentalist support to have any hope of winning, so the final fracking approval decision was pushed after Election Day.

After the November election, which Quinn lost, just as oil prices began to drop as a result of fracking success in other parts of the nation, particularly North Dakota, Illinois gave its okay for fracking to start. Too late. The oil boom is over--hydraulic fracking is an expensive way do drill.

Illinois' new governor, Republican Bruce Rauner, is off to a good start, but he can't turn back time. Southern Illinois, the poorest part of the Prairie State, has to wait for the next oil boom.

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