The Broken Clock Principal: Illinois Does Fracking Right

-By Warner Todd Huston

For the extreme left, hydraulic fracturing (known as colloquially as fracking) is the newest bugbear. There are all sorts of false claims about what it “does” to our water and our environment. So, with this anti-fracking crusade crackling along the Internet tubes, most left-wing states are lining up against allowing the natural gas drilling practice to be used within their borders. But Illinois is bucking that left-wing trend.

This is notable because Illinois is one of the worst states in nearly every single metric of what makes a state successful. It has some of the highest unemployment, one of the worst abusive lawsuit climates, the most anti-business legislature, has the only big city that is losing population (Chicago)… in short, Illinois figures prominently with the bottom five states in nearly every measurement that makes an economically successful state.

As Sean Hackbarth writes, California is taking that anti-fracking line that doesn’t surprise considering the fact that California is the other state that consistently ranks with Illinois at the bottom of successful states.

Noting that fracking has been an economic and domestic energy boon for such states as Pennsylvania, North Dakota, and Texas, Hackbarth points out that fracking has been in use in California–to good economic effect–for decades.

“However,” Hackbart says ruefully, “the California State Legislature is thinking about blocking hydraulic fracturing.”

California is looking to prove in good leftist fashion that cutting of its nose to spite its face is good public policy.

With Illinois being as far, far left as California, one might think that the Land of Lincoln would trundle along in the Golden State’s footsteps. Interestingly, like the broken clock that is right twice a day, Illinois seems to be bucking that left-wing path.

Hackbarth quotes The Washington Times that Illinois is looking to ramp up its interests in fracking.

The state House could vote as early as this week on legislation to regulate the drilling process that is also being hotly debated in New York, California and elsewhere. A key House committee unanimously approved the bill earlier this month, and the state Senate also appears ready to clear it.

Gov. Pat Quinn, a Democrat, has indicated he’ll sign the measure. He’s the latest high-profile governor in his party to embrace fracking, taking a page from the playbook of former Pennsylvania Gov. Edward G. Rendell, Colorado Gov. John Hickenlooper and others.

Hackbarth ends his piece (which you should go read for some of its excellent analysis) with this warning to California:

Illinois could use a jolt to its economy. It ranks near the bottom in job and economic growth according to the U.S. Chamber of Commerce Foundation’s 2013 Enterprising States study. The study also shows that California could use a boost to its long-term job growth prospects.

California should look at what’s happening in other states and look at what Illinois is about to do before putting up barriers to energy development.

I complain about our wonderful state of Illinois practically every day for being in thrall to the anti-American left, for having a cadre of criminals at her helm, for putting the reins of government into the hands of those criminals’ offspring, for having one of the highest rates of jailed politicians in the country, and for failing in nearly every way possible to serve her citizens, but here I have to give kudos to Pat “His Accidency” Quinn for actually agreeing to do something that is good for the state–ney, the country.

If Governor Quinn does sign legislation that makes it easier to practice hydraulic fracturing to drill for natural gas here in Illinois, then he and his party deserve a pat on the back… but just this once.
“The only end of writing is to enable the reader better to enjoy life, or better to endure it.”
–Samuel Johnson

Warner Todd Huston is a Chicago based freelance writer. He has been writing opinion editorials and social criticism since early 2001 and before that he wrote articles on U.S. history for several small American magazines. His political columns are featured on many websites such as Andrew Breitbart’s,, and, as well as,,,,, among many, many others. Mr. Huston is also endlessly amused that one of his articles formed the basis of an article in Germany’s Der Spiegel Magazine in 2008.

For a full bio, please CLICK HERE.

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