SUBSCRIBE to Capitol Fax      Advertise Here      Mobile Version     Exclusive Subscriber Content     Updated Posts    Contact
CapitolFax.com
To subscribe to Capitol Fax, click here.
Fracking question sparks huge Johnson County turnout

Thursday, Mar 20, 2014

* Johnson County voters in deep southern Illinois were faced with a non-binding referendum this week

Shall the people’s right to local self government be asserted by Johnson County to ban corporate fracking as a violation of their rights to health and safety?

* Some background

More than 1,000 signatures, twice the required number, were collected on the petition, rural Vienna resident Richard Craig said at a news conference held in front of the county clerk’s office in Vienna Thursday.

The petition effort took place after Johnson County commissioners declined to vote on placing the question on the ballot, he said.

“We felt like the people in the county should have a voice in what’s going on around them,” Craig said. […]

At last count, almost 195 leases have been signed in the county.

* Hopes were high

McMichael thinks the ballot initiative has a solid chance of passing, especially given the results of an October poll by the Paul Simon Public Policy Institute at Southern Illinois University which found 20 percent of voters undecided on the issue, with the rest evenly divided.

The poll, which surveyed 403 voters in 18 counties, including Johnson, found native southern Illinoisans were more supportive of fracking than non-natives, and women were more opposed than men.

The poll also found very strong support for the region’s coal industry, meaning that even many people who support fossil fuel extraction in general have reservations about fracking.

“That was much stronger support (for limiting fracking) than a lot of people had anticipated – we feel very good about what’s going on,” McMichael said.

* Southern Illinoisans Against Fracking Our Environment gathered the signatures, and the Pennsylvania-based Community Environmental Legal Defense Fund assisted in the campaign. Proponents freely admitted that the referendum was dividing the county

Phyllis Oliver, a retired schoolteacher who lives in Cypress, Ill., on Monday said the fracking debate in Johnson County is like the never-ending story that keeps getting uglier.

“I never thought Johnson County would get so … People get so angry with each other,” she said. […]

Oliver said she would not be surprised either way the majority votes today, and the argument that has turned neighbors against neighbors “will be interesting.”

“If they vote ‘no,’ we’re not going to go away,” she said.

* And it sure was divisive

The fracking campaign bruised egos and drove a rift in this rural county of about 12,000 people. The Goreville Gazette and The Vienna Times both refused to run advertisements in support of the fracking ban. That lead the editor of the Goreville paper to quit in protest.

* The Pennsylvania group wasn’t the only outside interest involved. Will Reynolds

The oil industry is trying to buy democracy in Johnson county. Residents have the chance in Tuesday’s election to decide they want control over their own future without more division and destruction by outside oil interests.

* Election day turnout was a very high 49 percent - more than double just about everywhere else in Illinois. And the anti-fracking referendum proponents lost big

With all 16 precincts and absentee ballots counted, the countywide referendum failed by a vote of 2,223 against to 1,602 for the measure, or 58 percent to 42 percent, respectively.

- Posted by Rich Miller        


21 Comments
  1. - Walker - Thursday, Mar 20, 14 @ 1:21 pm:

    Dollars over health and safety every time.


  2. - Old Shepherd - Thursday, Mar 20, 14 @ 1:23 pm:

    This was fascinating to watch, mainly because Johnson County is a very conservative, solid Republican county. Of all the counties in Southern Illinois, it was very surprising to me that this became the battleground.


  3. - Commander Norton - Thursday, Mar 20, 14 @ 1:24 pm:

    I wonder whether if it would have had more support if it had been phrased less as a referendum on fracking itself and more as a local control measure (since it’s nonbinding, it wouldn’t have mattered anyway). Something like, “Should Johnson County have a right to decide whether or not to ban [or allow] fracking in the county?” If that passed, it would at least have given fracking opponents a starting point instead of nothing, which is what they have now with such a solid drubbing.


  4. - Jeff Trigg - Thursday, Mar 20, 14 @ 1:29 pm:

    Ban corporate fracking? So, non-profit fracking would be ok? Silly leftist extremists.


  5. - Anonymous - Thursday, Mar 20, 14 @ 1:31 pm:

    ==Dollars over health and safety every time. ==

    More like some outside interest groups thinking they could tell property owners they knew what was best for them. Yeah, that usually goes over about as well as these results show.


  6. - 47th Ward - Thursday, Mar 20, 14 @ 1:34 pm:

    It’s an important question. I’m glad people are taking it seriously.


  7. - Downstate - Thursday, Mar 20, 14 @ 1:38 pm:

    In addition to the vote, this week also marked the 65th anniversary of the first fracking activity in the United States.

    Quick facts

    Fracking has been used on more than 1 million wells worldwide.

    15 countries of Europe already allow fracking

    In Tarrant County Texas, in 2011, more than 2.8 billioin gallons of water were used for fracking. More than 6.8 billion gallons of water were used for ……………watering lawns.


  8. - wordslinger - Thursday, Mar 20, 14 @ 1:42 pm:

    Yeah, it’s not an easy question at all. They sure could use the money down there, but you can’t live without groundwater.

    Jeff Trigg, your usual talking point drive-by adds as much knowledge and insight as usual.


  9. - Jeff Trigg - Thursday, Mar 20, 14 @ 1:56 pm:

    There was no need to call it “corporate” fracking. That was silly, except maybe for the simple-minded who automatically reject others’ knowledge or insight. Calling it corporate fracking confuses the real issue at hand with anti-business, socialist propaganda. They should have stuck to the real issue instead of being childish, just like you wordslinger.


  10. - Aldyth - Thursday, Mar 20, 14 @ 2:00 pm:

    Socialist? Really? You might want to study up and find out what socialism really is, Jeff Trigg. Having a volunteer fire department can be considered socialism, when you choose to skew the definition. I’ll bet there are a lot of volunteer fire fighters in southern Illinois.


  11. - Secret Square - Thursday, Mar 20, 14 @ 2:21 pm:

    I thought the statute already gave local governments authority to decide whether or not to allow fracking. If that is the case, having a referendum vote purely on local control would have been redundant and meaningless.


  12. - W - Thursday, Mar 20, 14 @ 2:22 pm:

    “More like some outside interest groups thinking they could tell property owners they knew what was best for them.”

    Like a state law that forces people to allow fracking under their land if 51% of the neighbors sign away their mineral rights? A lot of people in Johnson county are angry at Chicago lawmakers forcing them to allow fracking on their property.

    The result shows fracking is strongly divisive even in a conservative southern Illinois county, way beyond the usual tree-hugger crowd.


  13. - W - Thursday, Mar 20, 14 @ 2:25 pm:

    “I thought the statute already gave local governments authority to decide whether or not to allow fracking.”

    The law only allows municipalities to ban fracking. The Chicago greens who negotiated the bill were proud of themselves for that. But it’s basically meaningless in places like Johnson county because fracking will happen in unincorporated rural areas.


  14. - 1776 - Thursday, Mar 20, 14 @ 2:25 pm:

    People recognize that fracking can create jobs and economic opportunity in a safe manner. This was an overwhelming win given that the out of state environmentalists worked the community for a year.


  15. - Anonymous - Thursday, Mar 20, 14 @ 3:39 pm:

    I have a ton of family down there & we visit several times a year. They need fracking money badly down there, its pretty much Appalacia.


  16. - dupage dan - Thursday, Mar 20, 14 @ 3:58 pm:

    === - Walker - Thursday, Mar 20, 14 @ 1:21 pm:

    Dollars over health and safety every time ===

    Only if you believe that health and safety are truly at risk. Adults in Johnson County decided in overwhelming fashion. What do you say to the 58% who voted against the referendum? That they are not smart enough to make an intelligent decision because they don’t agree with you?


  17. - Hans Sanity - Thursday, Mar 20, 14 @ 4:43 pm:

    See how long the clamor for local control lasts when a local water supply is tainted.


  18. - wordslinger - Thursday, Mar 20, 14 @ 6:15 pm:

    No one should adopt the national blabbermouth talking points here and think they’re advancing the ball.

    There is great money to be made in fracking, in an area that could use it. There is also great risk to the groundwater, and groundwater is the ball game.

    I have no problem with going slow. I have great doubts that the emasculated DNR can adequately regulate. But I want the folks down there to get the gravy when it’s hot.

    Texas, believe it or not, heavily regulates extraction in regards to environmental safety. They have for more than 100 years. The state tells you where you can drill, how you do it, and how much you can take out.

    If Illinois is going to go large in this business, we have to let those who are going to make the money cowboy up and pay to make sure they don’t poison the land and water.


  19. - Fed up - Thursday, Mar 20, 14 @ 6:45 pm:

    Word,

    Good points, Illinois does need the money but, it can’t come at the price of safe ground water. Smart regulation is needed. I’m not sure Illinois is up to that task.


  20. - That guy - Thursday, Mar 20, 14 @ 7:36 pm:

    Fanning the flames of hysteria has been a cash cow for environmentalists seeking donations. A perceived crisis can be quite profitable. Follow the money works on both sides of the issue. At least the oil companies intentions are fairly transparent.


  21. - So. Illinois Guy - Thursday, Mar 20, 14 @ 9:20 pm:

    The main reason why the enviros used Johnson County for their attempt is that there is very little potential for “fracking” in that county and there is no past history of oil production. With no “oil culture” background, it is easier to scare people.

    The “Community Bill of Rights” that they were trying to poke down Johnson County’s throat has great potential as a tool to use over a wider portion of Southern Illinois. This was what the proponents were really up to.

    In the end, the Johnson County folks saw the proponent for what they really are….outsiders who were attempting to exploit the county for their own sinister purposes. Sound judgment prevailed absolutely.


Sorry, comments for this post are now closed.


* Rauner says he'll contribute to "anti-business" president's library
* Today's number: Two-thirds
* SUBSCRIBERS ONLY - Supplement to today’s edition: Congressional crosstabs
* SUBSCRIBERS ONLY - Today's edition of Capitol Fax (use all CAPS in password)
* Good morning!
* Yesterday's blog posts

Support CapitolFax.com
Visit our advertisers...

...............

...............


Search This Blog...

Search the 98th General Assembly By Bill Number
(example: HB0001)

Search the 98th General Assembly By Keyword

          
        * Is that used iPad stolen? Apple creates tool for would-be buyers to check
        * Lumia 530 available in T-Mobile stores from October 15th, only $79.20
        * Galaxy Note 4 three-point bend test uses a robotic butt
        * After Quietly Acquiring SnapSaves, Groupon Launches Snap, Paying You To Shop
        * ASUS ZenFone 5 and ZenFone 6 also get their Android 4.4
        * LG webOS smartwatch in the works
        * Apple Patents An Advanced Smart Remote App For Apple TV And iTunes

        * Have a Plan Before Asking For Help to Get Better Responses
        * Stellé Audio Mini-Clutch Is Both a Speaker and an Actual Clutch
        * LG may be working on a smartwatch running webOS
        * Keep Your Car Battery Healthy With These Discounted Chargers
        * Samsung Galaxy Alpha Gets Taken Apart By iFixit
        * Angry Birds Maker Rovio to Cut Up to 130 Jobs
        * Durio Sound A 24-bit 192kHz DAC Raspberry Pi Sound Card (video)

        * Guide to National League rooting interests for White Sox fans
        * Third-base coach McEwing to interview for D-backs job
        * Guide to American League rooting interests for White Sox fans
        * Anderson, Edwards prospects to watch in AFL
        * Manager notes: How Robin Ventura and Chris Sale get along
        * Voting underway to decide Hank Aaron Awards
        * Development of young core in '15 can define Chicago's future


        Main Menu
        Home
        Illinois
        YouTube
        Pundit rankings
        Obama
        Subscriber Content
        Durbin
        Burris
        Blagojevich Trial
        Advertising
        Updated Posts
        Polls

        Archives
        October 2014
        September 2014
        August 2014
        July 2014
        June 2014
        May 2014
        April 2014
        March 2014
        February 2014
        January 2014
        December 2013
        November 2013
        October 2013
        September 2013
        August 2013
        July 2013
        June 2013
        May 2013
        April 2013
        March 2013
        February 2013
        January 2013
        December 2012
        November 2012
        October 2012
        September 2012
        August 2012
        July 2012
        June 2012
        May 2012
        April 2012
        March 2012
        February 2012
        January 2012
        December 2011
        November 2011
        October 2011
        September 2011
        August 2011
        July 2011
        June 2011
        May 2011
        April 2011
        March 2011
        February 2011
        January 2011
        December 2010
        November 2010
        October 2010
        September 2010
        August 2010
        July 2010
        June 2010
        May 2010
        April 2010
        March 2010
        February 2010
        January 2010
        December 2009
        November 2009
        October 2009
        September 2009
        August 2009
        July 2009
        June 2009
        May 2009
        April 2009
        March 2009
        February 2009
        January 2009
        December 2008
        November 2008
        October 2008
        September 2008
        August 2008
        July 2008
        June 2008
        May 2008
        April 2008
        March 2008
        February 2008
        January 2008
        December 2007
        November 2007
        October 2007
        September 2007
        August 2007
        July 2007
        June 2007
        May 2007
        April 2007
        March 2007
        February 2007
        January 2007
        December 2006
        November 2006
        October 2006
        September 2006
        August 2006
        July 2006
        June 2006
        May 2006
        April 2006
        March 2006
        February 2006
        January 2006
        December 2005
        April 2005
        March 2005
        February 2005
        January 2005
        December 2004
        November 2004
        October 2004

        Blog*Spot Archives
        November 2005
        October 2005
        September 2005
        August 2005
        July 2005
        June 2005
        May 2005

        Syndication

        RSS Feed 2.0
        Comments RSS 2.0
        WordPress

        Loading


        * Major Person in Gov Quinn's Anti-Violence Progr.....
        * Governors Make Fiscal Progress..
        * And the race continues..
        * Grading America’s Governors..
        * Political infighting..
        * The 10 Most Vulnerable House Members..
        * The Race for Attorney General Tightens Up in 9 .....


        * Obama hits Chicago to stump for Gov. Quinn
        * AP PHOTOS: Lines linger for famed Chicago hot dogs
        * Waukegan schools close as teachers' strike looms
        * 20-years in prison for hit-run crash that killed 2
        * Official: Donations drying up for Lincoln library
        * Respiratory virus seen in 4 deaths; role unclear
        * Obama in Chicago for political appearances
        * Flight operations at Chicago airports improving
        * Governor candidates' views on Obama library evolve
        * Illinois Woman, son charged with meth conspiracy

        * Governor candidates’ views on Obama library evolve
        * Obama in Chicago for political appearances
        * Donations drying up for Lincoln Presidential Library foundation, chairman tells lawmakers
        * ALPLM at center of legislative hearing in Chicago
        * Former head of anti-violence program to testify
        * Appellate court: State workers owed back wages
        * Quinn leans on top Democratic support — Obamas, Clinton
        * IDOC investigation prompts state prison warden to retire
        * Lawmaker panel plans to resume anti-violence program investigation
        * Quinn touts first year of Affordable Care Act

        * Warren Buffett wants to sell you a car
        * Sears to sell most of Sears Canada stake
        * Blade runner: She took up hockey at 40
        * Accessorized for the office
        * Shrimp farming in Indiana: Believe it


        * Tragedy demands review of DCFS
        * Ease up on school budgets permanently
        * Keep the heat on political corruption
        * Burge leaving prison, but a mess remains
        * Emanuel prods sister agencies to mandate $13-an-hour wage
        * The thug life runs deep
        * Vigil held for Skokie teens; two Niles North seniors shot, one killed
        * Taxi reforms steer in the right direction
        * Thunderstorms early Thursday could disrupt O’Hare, Midway flights
        * Northeastern Illinois University unveils flashy new building on NW Side


        * Arrests in theft of $250,000 worth of watches from Gold Coast store
        * Police investigate shooting death at Des Plaines gun range
        * Neighbors lose a protector to a street robbery
        * Coyote expected to recover after getting stuck in car grill
        * Burge leaves prison today after serving time for lying about police torture
        * Prosecutors in Ferguson case probe report of jury misconduct
        * 5 wounded in separate city shootings
        * Waukegan schools closed because of teachers strike
        * Few red light camera refunds, spikes unexplained
        * 1 dead, 2 wounded in overnight shootings


        * History Series: The First Illinois Legislature
        * Donations Drying Up For Lincoln Library Foundation
        * LLCC Announces New Ag Programs
        * Tim Landis: Bike Lanes, Medical Marijuana And Meat
        * Clock Ticking On Illinois Prison Crowding
        * Decatur Unemployment Shows Biggest Drop In Nation
        * Quinn Lauds Affordable Care Act, Backs Down From State Marketplace
        * A Redo On Redistricting
        * Polls Showing Illinois Governor's Race A Draw
        * Bruce Rauner, Before He Was A Candidate (Author Interview)


        * Our View: Lawmakers, stay away from the IHSA
        * On Lincoln’s Side: Lincoln gambles on Nevada
        * Brian Gaines: Why Illinois needs redistricting reform
        * George Will: A new case for term limits
        * Eugene Robinson: Get the authorization
        * Bernard Schoenburg: The long, short of public perceptions of candidates for governor
        * Governor candidates’ views on Obama library evolve
        * Obama in Chicago for political appearances
        * Donations drying up for Lincoln Presidential Library foundation, chairman tells lawmakers
        * Former head of anti-violence program to testify


        * Daily business briefing: U.S. unemployment benefits continue to drop
        * Jim Dey: Sorry, lawyers: This judge won't budge
        * Honoring a Frances Nelson family
        * In Quinn's corner: The president
        * No work on Market Street railroad bridge before March
        * Top of the Morning, Oct. 2, 2014
        * Monty: Time for others to 'step forward'
        * CUMTD's Tom Costello 10/2/2014
        * Hotels get warning about taxes
        * Potentially severe weather expected Thursday


        * Skies now more friendly for kids on autism spectrum
        * Tesla's Musk says company will introduce new product next week
        * Manteno woman known as ‘Mustard Lady'
        * White Ohio women sue over sperm from black donor
        * Airports like O'Hare a focus point in Ebola battle

        * Representative Jan Schakowsky Sends Letter...
        * Rep. candidate pushes to uphold marriage b...
        * Reps. Schakowsky and Waxman Introduce Bill...
        * Statement by Representative Jan Schakowsky...
        * FAA Rejects Call For New O'Hare Noise Stud...
        * Representatives Quigley, Duckworth, Schako...
        * Representative Jan Schakowsky Statement on...
        * Representative Jan Schakowsky Statement in...
        * U.S. House Passes Resolution Condemning An...
        * Representative Jan Schakowsky Statement on...

        * Opinion: How Dick Clark Changed Music...
        * Opinion: How Dick Clark Changed Music...
        * 2012 Predictions Revisited: What the Seers......
        * 2012 Predictions Revisited: What the Seers......
        * 2012 Predictions Revisited: What the Seers......

        * Governor race focuses on labor, unemployment...
        * Israel On The Outs Over Iran?...

        * Central Illinois Republican Mayor featured in new Quinn campaign ad
        * Mainstream environmentalists flip out over stingray catch [video]
        * Raunerian ethics and voter fraud. Here and in North Carolina.
        * Waukegan strike. 1,200 teachers. 14,000 students.
        * Put 'Burge' name up with 'Capone' as those who '"got away" with something
        * State Senator Chris Nybo has new office up and running
        * Op-Ed: We need Pro-Life votes for Rauner to win
        * Karen Lewis. We can’t think in silos any longer.
        * Family friendly.
        * Ives and Connelly team up for forum on proposed changes to school funding


        * Screwed Up
        * Jobs Governor
        * Wake Up
        * Rauner Launches Three New TV Ads
        * Quinn must take lame duck tax vote off the table




            Hosted by MCS SUBSCRIBE to Capitol Fax Advertise Here Mobile Version Contact Rich Miller