Why fracking pact is stalled in the LegislatureContinue reading.
Illinois fracking deal hits a snag
Environmental group members show support inside the Capitol rotunda in an effort to pressure lawmakers for a two-year moratorium on hydraulic fracturing, commonly known as fracking, at the Illinois State Capitol Tuesday, March 12 (AP Photo/Seth Perlman)
The deal on fracking, touted by Gov. Pat Quinn and others as providing the best environmental protections in the country, has run into trouble in the Illinois Legislature.
The snag is a proposed addition of worker certification provisions, which as currently outlined are not acceptable to the industry. As a result, the fracking bill is mired in committee.
The argument in favor of worker certification is if you are going to be punching a hole through an aquifer, you should be someone who knows what you are doing. There’s also an interest in giving Illinois workers first crack at any new jobs.
But business sees the move as labor unions trying to get guaranteed jobs by saying every drilling site needs to have an accredited worker, and business worries it could take a couple of years to get new workers certified.
The issue came up just as the bill appeared green-lighted to move right before the Legislature went on break two weeks ago. At least one party following the talks said the issue had never been raised during months of negotiations.
“it was a really last minute curveball that took everybody by surprise, and the business guys walked away,” the party said.
A separate bill in the Legislature would put a two-year moratorium on fracking in Illinois.
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