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Senator Hunter, Anti-Fracking Forces Push Illinois Moratorium

From the Illinois Observer Wednesday, 13 February 2013

Coming on the heals of the roll out of a new pro-fracking, business-labor coalition, an anti-fracking group has unveiled a legislative plan to halt fracking in Illinois.

It’s a good, ol’ political fight over fracking.

The Illinois Coalition for a Moratorium last week announced legislation, Senate Bill 1418, that seeks to impose a moratorium on the controversial drilling process of high-volume hydraulic fracturing in Illinois.

The legislation, sponsored by State Senator Mattie Hunter (D-Chicago), would use the moratorium to allow two years for a science-based investigative task force to look at current and ongoing studies on fracking.

The Illinois anti-fracking coalition said in a statement “new research continues to uncover more harmful effects” of high-volume fracturing.

The coalition wants fracking dangers “identified” and “prevented.”

“At this time, a moratorium on all fracking activity is needed to ensure that the dangers of fracking are properly identified and prevented,” said attorney Penni Livingston of Southern Illinoisans Against Fracturing Our Environment.

“A Task Force of state and local organizational, governmental, environmental and industrial stakeholders is needed to investigate and determine environmental and economic issues and to make recommendations on technological and environmental standards,” Livingston added.

Members of ICMF also include: MoveOn.org Illinois, PDA Chicago and Illinois, SE Environmental Task Force, CAPA (Chicago Area Peace Action), CAPOW! (Citizens Act to Protect Our Water), Stop the Frack Attack on IL, Rising Tide, RAN Chicago, and the Chicago Chapter of World Can’t Wait.

Meanwhile, a new, pro-fracking group – GROW-IL (Growing Resources and Opportunity for the Workforce in Illinois) coalition – that is being piloted by the Illinois Manufacturers’ Association, Illinois AFL-CIO and the Illinois Petroleum Council says fracking is about “jobs”.

“Working families in Illinois are looking for good, safe high-paying jobs and we believe hydraulic fracturing can do that right away,” said Michael Carrigan, President, Illinois AFL-CIO. “When labor and business are on the same page, that usually translates into good things for business, the people they employ and consumers.”

The fight is on.

Stay tuned.

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