Survey: Fracking loses support in Southern Illinois

CARBONDALE — The rules are in place, but the market indicates the window has closed, for now, on hydraulic fracturing in southern Illinois.

A new poll from the Paul Simon Institute at Southern Illinois in Carbondale suggests the negative voices have filled the void.

“Over the course of two years, support versus opposition to fracking went from about even,” says Charlie Leonard, a visiting professor at the institute, “to almost 20 points opposed to fracking in southern Illinois.”

The process of injecting water and sand into the earth’s fissures to force out oil and gas deposits is controversial because envrionmentalists say it can damage the Earth and the drinking water supply.

A bill described as a comprehensive set of regulations passed the legislature a few years ago, but falling oil prices have discouraged any kind of fracking boom here.