I believe the hype in Illinois is beginning to conjure up excitement in some local counties and people are bracing for change as the Illinois Legislature is considering regulations that might set off a rush among energy companies who are set to start drilling deep in the southern Illinois bedrock areas for oil and natural gas.
I don’t know about other people but I’m excited about this event because I believe Americans are on their way to seeing a reduction in the oil and natural gas prices in the United States. Who really knows how much oil and gas are hiding underneath these out-of-reach areas in our country? I for one feel a certain amount of optimism about the Illinois Legislature considering to start drilling deep in the southern Illinois bedrock areas and I do hope It’ll be successful.
Take the small town of Vienna, Illinois for instance with its flat farmlands and laid back atmosphere there’s scarcely any people who’ve ever seen it or knows about it.
The rugged and remote Shawnee National Forest in the area draws many hikers, horseback riders, campers, and it is a plain contrast to the remainder part of the state that is either been plowed, suburbanized or paved.
Can people imagine the anxieties of the people in Illinois as the high-volume hydraulic fracturing or "fracking" begins to be used by crews and they begin to see a transformation similar to places like North Dakota and Pennsylvania?
It’s my opinion these people are going to be confused and many will be pro and con about these drillings. I’m sure there’ll be a lot of in-house gatherings to discuss the benefits and the affects this decision will have on local towns, the environment and people. There’ll be confusions and questions to be responded to before the drilling commences.
Once people begin to see their small hard topped county roads with "no" stoplight towns begin to vanish and the possibility of the area becoming booming cities, I’m sure there’ll be some sort of impact from the people in these areas.
Many people living along these county roads as have their ancestors after ancestors over eras begin to watch their slow paced living coming apart at the seams and a rebirth exploding before their eyes.
Drillers have been drilling in many other states and they’re now preparing to move into broader new territories too in hopes of tapping deposits which were at one time out of reach. Most people in these new territories have "no" or "little" experience with the oil industry.
Drillers have already leased hundreds of thousands of acres throughout the southern Illinois area; including in Johnson and Pope Counties. None of the people in these areas have seen any sort of conventional drilling and I’m sure there’s going to be a lot of controversy about the situation.
Many people in Illinois can envision an economic boom where they’ll be workers galore drilling for oil and gas and businesses in the local areas will have a problem keeping up with demands of the people.
There will be stories and worries among locals concerning housing shortages, strangers overrunning their towns, claims of polluted water, and stories of hardships because of destroyed roads and drillers ruining their beauty, serenity, and which forms the character of their local areas. These areas are special to them and they’ll hate to see them distrubed.
Ron Duncan, Johnson County’s economic development director, says, "This is really a double-edged sword," as he stands in downtown Vienna, Illinois. A site that was a once-bustling county seat but it has dwindled to a handful of government offices and businesses.
Duncan also said, "This town could use an economic infusion, but it’s a rural life that people have grown to love because of its natural beauty and neighbors knowing neighbors."
Fracking will allow drillers access to once out-of-reach deposits and opened large areas of the country for exploration; this has pushed U.S. oil production to its highest level in 20 years and natural gas production to an all-time high; and with an estimation of almost 2,400 trillion cubic feet of recoverable natural gas, according to the Energy Department.
The industry is eyeing the New Albany Shale formation in Illinois and drilling could begin as early as this summer if legislature passes regulations that are going to be introduced in February. This does not appear to be a problem for most of the people in Illinois counties where conventional oil and gas drilling has been going on for over a century.
Brad Richards, executive vice president of the Illinois Oil and Gas Association, has indicated that people aren’t afraid where they’re currently operating. He also stated that fracking is safe and concerns are being overblown about its environment impact.
Richards reported that there are people in Pope and Johnson counties in Illinois who may hold a significant oil reserves are divided.
It’s my belief that there’s mixed emotions in Illinois about the possibility of fracking coming to their local areas but I do believe a large majority of the people will welcome jobs in their areas. If the fracking goes as they hope, it’ll be a great opportunity for all of them and it will produce jobs for those in need in the state of Illinois. Illinois currently has a large debt and I’m sure this would open up the funds required for them to finally see the light.
Barbara Kasey Smith is the writer of this article and it was taken from a report on Fox News.Com