Sunday, April 22, 2012

IL fracking bill clears with industry, enviro support | Illinois Statehouse News

April 19, 2012

By Anthony Brino | Illinois Statehouse News

SPRINGFIELD — A proposal updating Illinois' oil and gas law to regulate the latest evolution in drilling technology passed the Senate Environment Committee on Thursday with rare support from industry and environmental groups.

As energy companies secure leases to extract oil and gas from the New Albany shale in southern Illinois, some lawmakers and environmental groups have been trying to pass legislation regulating horizontal hydraulic fracturing, which uses water, sand and industrial fluids to crack open fissures in rocks to release oil or gas.

Sponsored by state Sen. Michael Frerichs, D-Gifford, Senate Bill 3280 would require companies to disclose the chemical composition of the fracturing fluids and would require companies to test the integrity of the cement and steel well casings meant to protect groundwater during the drilling process.

“It’s not very often that you see the industry groups and the environmental community come to together and agree on an issue,” said Dan Eichholz, associate director of the Illinois Petroleum Council, a trade group, which supports the proposal, along with the Illinois Oil and Gas Association, Illinois Chamber of Commerce and Illinois Manufacturing Association.

Jack Darin, director of the Illinois Sierra Club, an environmental group, said the bill offers good solutions to the risks associated with hydraulic fracturing, although he said lawmakers should consider other issues, such as waste water and air emissions.

“This bill is going to be part of a broader conversation about hydraulic fracturing,” Darin said.

So far, only a few experimental wells have been drilled in the New Albany shale, a 360-million-year-old oil- and gas-rich rock layer that sits about 4,500 feet underground in Illinois.

IL fracking bill clears with industry, enviro support | Illinois Statehouse News

With all this natural gas, who needs oil? -

ByAlexandra Marks, Correspondent / April 22, 2012

It's home-grown, plentiful, and touted as the best way to wean the US off Mideast oil. But there are limits to how far the US can tilt toward a natural gas economy.

Instead of paying $4 a gallon at the pump, it costs them 60 cents for the equivalent

recently as five years ago, oil and gas executives thought the nation's accessible natural gas reserves were almost played out. The industry was proposing building 47 import terminals to bring liquefied natural gas into the US. Five were actually constructed. Now most of them sit underutilized….


Hydraulic fracturing, the controversial drilling technique, has made it possible to access trillions of cubic feet of natural gas locked in shale formations deep beneath vast swaths of the country. High oil prices have made it economical to extract.

The US Department of Energy estimates that 482 trillion cubic feet of natural gas exists in the US. At the current rate of consumption, that's a 90-year supply.

Last year, almost 40 percent of the trash-hauling trucks and 25 percent of the transit buses purchased in the US were fueled by natural gas….

electricity generated by natural gas has jumped from 23 percent to 35 percent. Cambridge Energy Research Associates believes it could double in the next 20 years…..

. Natural gas prices are notoriously volatile. The warm winter and generous supplies of natural gas from the current drilling boom have plunged prices to a 20-year low. That has made tapping the shale less profitable. The pace of drilling in Pennsylvania has already slowed, with rigs moving to more oil-rich fields. Will the jobs now vanish? If drilling slows too much, will prices spike again?

Click on the following to read the entire story:  With all this natural gas, who needs oil? -

Belvidere City Council passes enterprise zone resolution & Township Issue

Belvidere Daily Republican

Written by Margaret Rock, Reporter

At the close of the meeting, Alderman Clint Morris reviewed a list of deadlines for getting an advisory referendum on the November ballot. There was discussion about moving in that direction with a ballot question about support for the continuation of the township government, and from the information Morris received, the city has until about mid-August to determine how they wish to proceed.

Click on the following to read all of the storyBelvidere City Council passes enterprise zone resolution | Belvidere Daily Republican