“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, safety and a clean environment?”
The question, which will show up on the March primary ballot in the southern Illinois county, is an example of an increasingly popular tactic among fracking opponents: trying to assert local control over a practice that in most cases is not specifically addressed by federal or state laws.
The move is especially significant in Illinois, where state regulators are refining fracking rules that critics say are way too lenient.
On December 3, the Illinois Department of Natural Resources closed its 50-day public comment period on the proposed state regulations. The agency received more than 20,000 comments, the bulk of them reportedly opposed to the regulations or to fracking as a whole.