Durkin Praises Efforts of Reps. Reis, Bost & Fortner to Boost Illinois Economy

Burr Ridge, IL…House Republican Leader Jim Durkin today praised State Representative David Reis (R-Ste. Marie), Mike Bost (R-Murphysboro) and Mike Fortner (R-West Chicago) for their hard work in bringing Hydraulic Fracturing to Southern Illinois. On Thursday, the 12-member Joint Committee on Administrative Rules issued a “certificate of no objection” to fracking regulations in Illinois. This agreement will finally allow potential drillers to start applying for permits and jobs to be created.

“David Reis, Mike Bost and Mike Fortner deserve to be recognized for their efforts in negotiating model legislation for safe hydraulic fracturing and for keeping pressure on the Department of Natural Resources to develop rules that follow the original intent of the law,” said Durkin. “Because of their due diligence, 45,000 new jobs could come to Illinois and $9 billion in economic activity generated. This is welcomed news for southern Illinois and our overall state economy.”

SB 1715/P.A. 98-22 was negotiated on a bi-partisan basis over the course of several months and agreed to by business groups, the oil and gas industry, organized labor, environmental advocates, and state regulators. It was hailed as groundbreaking legislation that would provide the strictest environmental regulations in the country while allowing the fracking industry to develop and provide a huge economic boost to Illinois.

Nearly a year after being signed into law, IDNR issued rules that fell seriously outside what was explicitly authorized by law, or arguably even contradicted the law. Members on JCAR rejected the initial set of rules and demanded that IDNR re-submit the rules. At the November JCAR meeting this week, lawmakers agreed to a new set of rules that more closely resembles the law that was so carefully negotiated.

“Representative David Reis deserves a special thanks for his role in reviewing IDNRs rules and for providing guidance to our members on JCAR about the original intent of the negotiated law, and in identifying deviations in the proposed rules. His attention to the matter played a key role in getting the rules revised, and ultimately, approved.”