Kirk: Fight High Gas Prices With State’s Own Resources

CHICAGO (WBBM/CBS) — U.S. Sen. Mark Kirk (R-Ill.) says a remedy to high gas prices could be found by looking to Illinois’ own natural resources.

As WBBM Newsradio 780’s Dave Marsett reports, Kirk proposes research on harnessing natural gas from shale in the Illinois Basin, making tax credits for renewable energy permanent, speeding up the drilling permit process in the Gulf of Mexico and eliminating so-called small gasoline monopolies.

LISTEN: Newsradio 780’s Dave Marsett reports

Illinois is among six states where the average price for a gallon of gas has topped $4 and several more are close behind, according to the AAA Daily Fuel Gauge.

Kirk would not offer a specific timeline on when his ideas could come to fruition or how much they would lower gas prices, but he said new sources must be sought immediately.

He pointed to shale deposits in the Illinois Basin, which rests under parts of Illinois, Indiana and Kentucky. Kirk said the deposits are ripe for research, especially considering new technologies.

Kirk could not detail those new technologies. But recently, hydraulic fracturing has been making headlines in other states. The drilling technique, also known as “fracking,” involves injecting water, sand and additives underground to create fractures to help free the gas.

Fracking is credited with unlocking more natural gas but criticized by some for possibly endangering water quality.

Kirk also said speeding up the offshore drilling permit process would help ease reliance on foreign oil.

After a moratorium of several months following the infamous Gulf oil leak last year, the Obama administration resumed issuing drilling permits earlier this year amid pressure from the industry and lawmakers. However, several big oil producers say they’re still waiting for permits to be approved.

(TM and © Copyright 2011 CBS Radio Inc. and its relevant subsidiaries. CBS Radio and EYE Logo TM and Copyright 2011 CBS Broadcasting Inc. Used under license. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed. The Associated Press contributed to this report.)

  • B.espina

    the reserves of gas need to be opened up the economy still is bad and and now with gas prices as high as they are how are people suppose to get to the jobs they have and still pay for everything else.if people can’t afford to pay for gas then they can’t get to workthen they loss their jobs and then the economy gets even worseand public transportation is even costly because the price gets increased because of gas prices is there no end

  • James

    Got corn?
    When I was in school 40 years ago teachers taught us about gas made from corn, electricity generated from wind and sun.
    What happened?
    Who dropped the ball?
    Why are we so polluted and dependent on foreign oil, dangerous nuke power, and polluting coal?????

  • Gary Katz

    We have high gas prices because the system for pricing commodities such as crude oil is out of date. This is not a supply and demand issue. We have plenty of oil; more than we need and less than the oil producing countries can provide, if demand does increase. Oil is sky high because too many speculators and investors are buying oil futures. When there are more buyers than sellers, the price goes up, plain and simple. And don’t blame OPEC – they don’t set the price of oil and they don’t make any more money than U.S. oil producers do. So our dependence on foreign oil is not the culprit either. Sen. Kirk should launch an initiative to take crude and gasoline off the commodities markets, so the U.S. can negotiate reasonable prices, like, say, $60 a barrel.

    • WHG2011

      I agree with Gary. Gas prices are politically controlled.

      Raise the gas prices sky high. I’ll say over $6.00 a gallon around Labor Day. Then “they” will lower gas prices to let’s say a “reasonable” $3.50. Outrageous still. But it’s not $6.00 a gallon.

      In 2008 when gas prices went to $4.00 a gallon, “they” lowered the price to a more “reasonable” $2.99.

      This will continue. Probably forever.

      Politically controlled. Case in point:

  • The Night I Was Robbed « The Burnham Daley

    […] that we know what are facing, what is anyone doing about it? Well, Illinois Senator Kirk believes that Illinois shale reserves might hold the key. Kirk believes in using a controversial drilling […]

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