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Silverstein Introduces New Fracking Moratorium Bill SB3386

2/21/14, Sabrina Hardenbergh, SAFE Newsletter/Web Team.

This may not exactly be  Valentine’s Day true love, but on Friday, February 14, 2014, representative Ira Silverstein introduced a new SB3386 “FRACKING-BAN TASK FORCE” bill to the Illinois state legislature.  The new SB3386 bill is interesting in a few ways, but read and analyse the detail, and think about how it will figure into Illinois decision-making.

First, SB3386 essentially places a MORATORIUM on fracking until more is known about its impact to constitutional rights. Constitutional rights to a healthy environment and citizen involvement in democratic decision-making were largely ignored in the earlier Hydraulic Fracturing Regulatory Act and subsequent IDNR proposed Rule.  Such rights at the local level and citizen level are a consistent theme in this and other activism on fracking and the other extractive industries. Such citizen rights are being legislated away to favor corporate operations in some states’ bills around the country, such as HB1299 in neighboring Indiana pertaining to fracking regulation, or in “fast track” TPP in Congress.

Secondly, SB3386 puts together a bigger task force on the issue, although one could examine whether it is sufficient.   The need for wider input was widely stated during the IDNR hearing and comment period.

Finally, this Chicago Democrat, according to Wikipedia, “… is the Chairman of the Senate Executive Committee, and he serves on the Senate Judiciary and Licensed Activities committees, and the Joint Committee on Administrative Rules (JCAR).”   JCAR decides whether to approve the IDNR proposed Rules.  Apparently, Silverstein’s bill had input from a variety of sources that conferred after the close of the public comment period on the IDNR proposed Rule.

SB3386 will be a bill to track and further evaluate this year.


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