September 03, 2014 Articles

Fracking in Illinois: The Uncertainty Continues

Uncertainty, doubt, and insecurity have returned about whether the New Albany Shale formation in the Illinois basin will be developed by fracking.

By Shannon L. Haney – September 3, 2014

In June 2013, Illinois legislators, regulators, industry, and environmental groups celebrated the end to a hard-fought negotiation effort that led to the enactment of the Illinois Hydraulic Fracturing Regulatory Act. Whether each group agreed with each and every provision in the act, at the very least, with passage of the act, industry, regulators, and environmental groups had some structure regarding the statutory legal process for conducting high-volume horizontal hydraulic fracturing (fracking) in Illinois.

But this celebration and hope for a defined legal structure was short-lived. With the delay in enacting the implementing regulations and changes in agency leadership, uncertainty, doubt, and insecurity have returned about whether the New Albany Shale formation in the Illinois basin will be developed by fracking.

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