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.


* Reader comments closed for the holiday weekend
* Fracking rules finally unveiled
* Question of the day
* A big IDOT roundup
* Even Steven, for now
* *** UPDATED x1 - Confirmed *** Report: Libertarians file charges
* Big guys dinged a bit, but little guys helped a lot
* Today's photo
* 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

          
        * Clearer Lenovo Vibe X2 images leak, see gradient design up close
        * Samsung partners with Nike for running app on Gear S
        * ORA-1 is a potential Google Glass killer, runs on Android
        * Look what I can do!
        * Samsung Galaxy Tab S goes to the street, compared with iPad Air
        * iWatch dates, Sony IFA plans, Moto X+1 materials & more – Pocketnow Daily
        * Samsung Galaxy S5 – After The Buzz, Episode 38 (Video)

        * Apple iPhone 6 To Feature 1GB Of RAM (Rumor)
        * Nvidia Shield Tablet Picks Up A Big Update, Brings Several Bug Fixes And Enhancements
        * How to Downgrade Mi 3 from Developer ROM to Stable MIUI ROM
        * Pinterest Business Analytics: This Week in Social Media
        * HTC Rumored To Be Working On Two New Wearable Devices
        * Lenovo Vibe X2 Images Leaked In All Its Glory
        * Nokia’s HERE Maps Coming to Android, Exclusively for Galaxy Handsets

        * Final stretch of at-bats a gauge for Avisail
        * Wins not representative of lefties' August outings
        * Rough fourth inning dooms Carroll, Sox to defeat
        * Sale locks arms with Scherzer; Bassitt to debut
        * Tigers 7, White Sox 1: Ugly fourth extends ugly stretch
        * Rough fourth inning dooms Carroll, Sox to defeat
        * Abreu already a leader in White Sox clubhouse


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

        Archives
        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


        * 5 things to know about House races this fall as.....
        * 5 things to know about the nation's 36 races fo.....
        * 5 things to know about 2014 governor's races..
        * 5 things to know about House races..
        * Meet Bruce Rauner, the big spender..
        * Gov. Pat Quinn pays tribute to former Mayor Jan.....
        * GUEST COLUMN: Pat Quinn's Illinois: Where the s.....
        * Gov. Pat Quinn pays tribute to former Mayor Jan.....


        * Engine trouble force cancellation of Amtrak train
        * Ingleside middle school teacher wanted for assault
        * State agency issues long-awaited fracking rules
        * U of I facing scrutiny over job-offer decision
        * Illinois governor grants 38 clemency requests
        * Highway interchange named for former Chicago mayor
        * 30-year prison terms in Decatur home invasion
        * Prairie Farms cuts 66 jobs in St. Louis County
        * Monument dedicated at suburban Chicago cemetery
        * 20-year-old woman guilty in Joliet double murder

        * DNR issues long-awaited ‘fracking’ rules
        * Quinn grants 38 clemency requests
        * IDNR issues long-awaited ‘fracking’ rules
        * Court rules state retirees can stop paying health insurance premiums
        * Governor hopefuls rip each other on hiring, taxes
        * Fracking industry officials donating to Rauner
        * IDNR set to release fracking rules Friday
        * DNR: $1 hunting, fishing licenses for Illinois seniors not ready
        * Renovation of Illinois Supreme Court building completed
        * Vallas: Rauner income tax rollback would cost schools $4 billion

        * American Airlines fares back on Orbitz after deal
        * Meet Bruce Rauner, the big spender
        * Organic grocer pulls plug on plans for old Fox & Obel site
        * Chicago business barometer rebounds in August
        * Long-awaited fracking rules released


        * Aurora couple on O’Hare shuttle bus ‘landed in a pile of humans’ after crash
        * Joliet woman guilty in double-murder; two more to stand trial
        * Ex-Cook County worker charged with fraud in grant program
        * Women at work: Female ministers find obstacles on path to pulpit
        * Feds: Teacher allegedly coaxed teen into taking pornographic pictures
        * Firefighter among two injured in South Chicago fire
        * Renaming interchange a fitting tribute to Byrne
        * Critic of Israel doesn’t belong on Gaza fact-finding panel
        * Speed up DNA testing


        * Man killed, 10 hurt in city shootings
        * Police: Suspect cut man's face during CTA bus dispute
        * Police: Man killed in West Side hit-and-run
        * Quinn grants 38 clemency petitions
        * 2 firefighters on way to work come to aid of driver, passengers in bus crash
        * Fracking approaches final hurdle in Illinois
        * Judge limits Harvey from misusing water cash
        * Burr Oak Cemetery monument dedicated
        * Judge tosses challenge to flame retardant rules
        * Man convicted in Schaumburg hotel robbery acquitted of attempted murder


        * Donated Breast Milk Helps Sick Infants
        * DNR Releases Fracking Rules
        * Update From Ferguson Via KWMU's Rachel Lippmann
        * Listen to State Week - August 29, 2014
        * Inspector's Report Reveals Clout Hiring At IDOT
        * 'Belleville' The Movie Is NOT A Documentary
        * Journalist and doctor encourage honest conversations about death
        * Libertarians Survive Illinois GOP's Ballot Challenge
        * Undocumented Immigrants Call For Presidential Orders
        * State Retirees To Stop Paying Health Premiums


        * DNR issues long-awaited ‘fracking’ rules
        * Dave Bender: Hope for the unfinished business of immigration reform
        * Quinn grants 38 clemency requests
        * E.J. Dionne: 2014 and the limits of rage
        * Esther Cepeda: Farmers markets, here I come
        * Rep. Tom Morrison: What Illinois could learn from other states
        * Court rules state retirees can stop paying health insurance premiums
        * Governor hopefuls rip each other on hiring, taxes
        * Fracking industry officials donating to Rauner
        * IDNR set to release fracking rules Friday


        * IDNR sends fracking rules move to committee
        * Voting theme of parade
        * Trash will be collected in B-N on Labor Day
        * Birthday surprise for 8-year-old twins
        * Area Calendar 8/30/14
        * Daily Digest 8/30/14
        * What others are saying about ... the Ice Bucket Challenge
        * Benefit to help pay for stem-cell transplant
        * Ice Bucket Challenge: David Burleson
        * A thank-you to devoted cemetery caretakers


        * Pair of top receivers would be great catch
        * Survey planned for Cook Memorial library patrons
        * DuPage referendums concern roads, airport noise, facilities
        * Benet starts a new streak
        * Mercure helps Lakes heat up

        * Schakowsky Shadows Illinois Home Care Work...
        * Schakowsky: House GOP to blame for gridloc...
        * Dems urge CMS to ensure accurate nursing h...
        * Connie Bruck Whitewashes Schakowsky--and J...
        * Legislation proposes mandating 24/7 nursin...
        * Statement by Representative Jan Schakowsky...
        * Farm Antibiotic Restrictions Proposed - Al...
        * Jan Schakowsky: Tom Marino's Response to '...
        * Telling Nancy Pelosi to do research is sex...
        * At a glance: How metro-east residents vote...

        * Congressional Authors of E-Cigarette Marke......
        * Congressional Authors of E-Cigarette Marke......
        * Congressional Authors of E-Cigarette Marke......
        * Congressional Authors of E-Cigarette Marke......
        * Congressional Authors of E-Cigarette Marke......

        * Putin Hopeful Russia Won’t Lose Right to H......
        * Susquenita enters Tri-Valley League under ......
        * Soccer-Putin hopeful Russia won't lose rig......
        * Putin hopeful Russia won't lose right to h......

        * John Dillon. The state’s legal defense of pension theft? Think self-defense or insanity.
        * Keeping retirement weird. The color line.
        * Frustrated? No. We are people with a vision of a city that works for its people.
        * Circle Interchange Renamed For Former Mayor Jane Byrne
        * A 30-year reunion only one year late
        * New London school board takes back its offer to “Dr.” Terrence Carter.
        * Chicagoetry: Sphinx Of Procopius
        * The Beachwood Radio Hour #21: Federal Judge Rules The Koschman Conspiracy Worked
        * Illinois Democrat Leader Says Republicans Would Hire ISIS Terrorists
        * Coalition Hopeful Hydraulic Fracturing is One Step Closer in Illinois


        * Quinn Refuses to Answer New IDOT Questions
        * IDNR Delivers Revised Rules to Implement Hydraulic Fracturing Regulatory Act - Rules strengthened to ensure public participation, improve transparency, toughen penalties and protect the environment
        * Governor Quinn Proclaims September as “Recovery Month” in Illinois - Encourages people to speak up about mental illness and substance abuse
        * Governor Quinn Dedicates Jane Byrne Interchange - Governor Renames Circle Interchange in Honor of Chicago’s First and Only Female Mayor to Date
        * Rauner Rolls Out Students for Rauner Coalition




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