It didn’t take much longer than a cup of coffee before the lawsuits began to fly after Illinois completed its new oil and gas rules last week, which would have opened the door to new energy development that some business leaders called a coming boom.
Landowners and an environmental activist organization are suing the governor of Illinois and the head of the state’s Department of Natural Resources in order to block implementation of new rules that would have allowed horizontal drilling and hydraulic fracturing in Illinois’ oil and gas rich areas.
“The lawsuit, filed Monday in Madison County, says the state agency didn’t give the public ample notice during the rule-making process, failed to use scientific studies in crafting its first draft of the rules and “left members of the public scrambling” to review and comment on the rules before they were published,” the Chicago Tribune reported. The plaintiffs are seeking an injunction to prevent the agency from issuing permits for drilling and hydraulic well completions.
“Mineral rights owners in southern Illinois who have been waiting more than a year for fracking to begin already have filed lawsuits in Wayne, White, Edgar and Hamilton counties claiming that the drawn-out process has tied up their land with unusable leases with oil companies, akin to an illegal land grab by the state,” the Tribune reported.
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