Members of Illinois People's Action dressed as zombies in Normal to protest the possibility of hydraulic fracturing in Illinois.
That's a practice of injecting water and chemical deep into underground rock to allow oil and gas extraction. Group member Bill Rau says it is also tremendously wasteful of water, up to thirty million gallons per well.
"McLean County will be the most water stressed county in Illinois by 2030. Number two, all Illinois will reach the upper limit on what it can withdraw from Lake Michigan. We're gonna be facing major water problems. Fracking is a huge water hog."
Rau says those numbers come from the Natural Resources Defense Council.
"Guess what! It would take only 73 gas wells to drain Lake Bloomington dry."
Lakes Bloomington and Evergreen provide drinking water for the city of Bloomington. The advocacy group wants McLean County Government to ban so called fracking, even though Rau acknowledges it is a statewide issue. It's not certain McLean County would be suitable for the practice, though Rau says a layer of what's called New Albany Shale containing fossil fuel deposits does extend into the area. Two parties interested in drilling exploratory wells have also asked about county rules governing special use permits. Some probusiness board members suggest the county should streamline that process. Others object saying it would eliminate environmental safeguards. Rau says claims of economic benefits from oil and gas extraction are overstated fairy tales and ignore environmental risk.
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