An Illinois House committee has OK'd a measure to regulate high-volume oil and gas drilling in the state.
The House Executive Committee voted 11-0 Tuesday to move to the full House a bill meant to kick-start hydraulic fracturing, "or fracking" in southern Illinois.
Fracking uses high-pressure mixtures of water, sand or gravel and chemicals to crack rock formations deep underground and release oil and natural gas.
Gov. Pat Quinn praised the committee for its decision, saying he hopes the bill passes "swiftly" through the Illinois House and Senate after a House committee voted to send it to the full House.
“I look forward to continuing to work with this broad coalition to swiftly pass this bill through the Illinois House and Senate," Quinn said, "and unlock the potential for thousands of jobs in Southern Illinois.”
The proposal has been described as the strictest in the nation. It outlines rules energy companies would have to follow.
The bill requires that companies disclose fracking chemicals and test water before and after drilling. It also holds them liable for contamination.
The measure's opponents worry it would cause air and water pollution and deplete water resources.
This report was originally published on May 21, 2013.