Fracking in Illinois

Today I read Fracking industry draws closer in Illinois.

It seems like the energy industry’s case is:

  • There’s no clean energy. Fracking can be safely regulated.
  • This will create jobs in Illinois

In evaluating these things, I wonder:

  • Has fracking been in practice long enough to evaluate long term impacts?
  • How do early estimates of negative impacts and regulation to address this of established energy extraction techniques (off-shore drilling seems like a good example) match with the realities we’ve seen since the technology was introduced?
  • How long will the jobs created by fracking in Illinois exist? How long have they existed in other communities?  Will these jobs disappear in a manner similar to auto-industry jobs in the rust belt. Do places with low unemployment exist because they have have a single large industry that employs a lot of people or a mesh of industries with pathways for people to move to other types of work when one employer dries up?
  • How do you quantify the cost of unemployment vs. being employed in a dangerous or environmentally toxic job?