The Illinois House and Senate have very different bills regarding fracking, drilling for oil and natural gas. (Photo from Flickr user danielfoster437)
By The Associated Press
CHICAGO - A bill regulating high-volume oil and gas drilling in Illinois is expected to be introduced this week in the state House, two weeks after a Senate bill called for a 2-year moratorium on the practice.
Supporters of hydraulic fracturing, or "fracking,'' believe they have a good shot because the regulatory bill is being negotiated by officials from industry and agriculture, environmentalists, lawmakers and Attorney General Lisa Madigan.
Fracking uses high-pressure mixtures of water, sand or gravel and chemicals to crack rock formations and release oil and gas. The industry is eyeing southern Illinois' New Albany shale deposits.
Negotiators say the regulatory bill addresses chemical disclosure, air and water pollution, and setbacks from homes. But critics say the state needs more time to study safety issues and evaluate best practices.