In a quiet, not-quite ceremony located not in Southern Illinois, or even in the state capital, Illinois Gov. Pat Quinn signed Senate Bill 1715 in Chicago today. More than anything, even the STAR Bonds bill from a few years ago, SB 1715 which creates a 21st Century regulatory standard for hydraulic fracturing in the oil and gas industry has the power to totally transform downstate Illinois.
It's a shame that the governor treats his greatest legacy as something to be ashamed of.
While we've had fracking for 50 years at a small scale, and even some medium-size attempts recently, we're now waiting for what happens next. Something between the oil-caused catastrophes just waiting to happen and the economy-changing creation of 50,000 new jobs in the next decade.
For some perspective I suggested reading up on North Dakota and the Bakkan Shale formation.
The Weekly Standard has a nice article online about North Dakota oil boom that's taken off due to fracking.
Some claim fracking will hurt tourism. Actually the hotel industry has already benefited the most from the leasing activity, at least in the Mount Vernon area.