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Jackson County

May 2012

The Jackson County Board Legislative committee met May1st, 2012. Board member Julie Peterson brought up the fracking issue.  She reviewed the bills in the General Assembly which address the mechanics of the process and possible taxing.  She sent then State Attorney Mike Wepsiec an email regarding the county banning fracking.  The committee was in favor of getting more information and hearing what the states attorney had to say. 

The full board met May 15, 2012 at 6:00 pm at the Jackson County Courthouse.The issue was passed to the Land Use Committee.

June 2012

In June, the Jackson County Land Use Committee was sent SAFE’s model ordinance to ban fracking.

July 2012

SAFE met with the Land Use Committee of the Jackson County Board on Thursday, July 12, at 4:30 pm in the M’boro Court House. Representatives of the fracking industry were there. Video at

The Jackson county Land Use Committee did not allow SAFE speak at a June 12th meeting, nor did the allow more than 5 questions from the audience. Brad Richards, the Executive VP of the Gas and Oil Association spoke for about a half hour and offered nothing constructive. His presentation was filled with half-truths and outright lies (after drilling hundreds of thousands of wells there has never been a case of water pollution). He deflected direct questions by claiming ignorance.

His presentation was followed by a presentation by Assistant to the States Attorney Dan Brenner who said that in his opinion our model ordinance to ban fracking was illegal. Again, his arguments were specious.

SAFE attorney’s prepared a memorandum of law regarding the issue of preemption (i.e., the county can’t do anything because this is the jurisdiction of the federal and state governments). Case law suggests that we would win because neither the federal government nor the state have a comprehensive scheme of regulation in place, which is necessary to overrule the right of counties to act.

July 17th, John Rendleman and Will Stevens proposed a resolution to the Jackson County Board to support the moratorium on fracking at the state level. This was voted on and unanimously passed.  There was confusion among many citizens, who thought that the county board voted on a moratorium on fracking  in the county.  The county has since sent a letter to Illinois legislators, governor and other government officials stating support for a state moratorium to pass.


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