According to a study conducted for the Illinois Chamber of Commerce, the potential benefits of hydraulic fracturing, or “fracking,” to extract oil and natural gas resources from deep underground could mean up to 47,000 jobs and more than $9 billion in economic impact for Illinois.
The Illinois Dept. of Natural Resources reports, to-date only one company Strata-X, Inc. of Denver, Colorado has registered and been approved for the work. Fracking involves using a mixture of water, chemicals and sand to crack rock formations deep underground and release trapped oil and gas. The process has been a boon to job creation and economic development in other states. However, as the State Journal Register recently reported, there are concerns the nearly year-and-a-half delay between the signing of the Fracking Law and final approval of rules governing the process may have slowed interest and pushed back decisions by other companies to get involved.
The Senate Republican Caucus was united in its support of the legislation when it passed during the spring 2013 legislative session because of its potential to create good-paying jobs and the contribution it would make to economic growth resulting in an increase in revenues for a debt-laden state government.