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WJBD - Local News - Bill Would Allow Fracking In Southern Illinois Oil Fields To Begin

Bill Would Allow Fracking In Southern Illinois Oil Fields To Begin

  (Springfield, IL)  --  Illinois could soon be a pillar in the oil and natural gas industries.  A new bill would allow businesses to pull oil and gas out of shale rocks deep within the soil, in a process known as "fracking."  Mark Denzler with the Illinois Manufacturers Association says there are major economic benefits that come along with fracking.  

"We're going to create upwards of 50,000 good high paying jobs  Were going to reduce our reliance on imported foreign oil.   the third thing is we're going to insure low cost energy for Illinois consumers and businessmen for many years to come,"  said Denzler.  

Lawmakers have proposed a bill that would allow the industry to move in and get to work.  They believe areas in southern Illinois and between Champaign and Evansville, Indiana have plenty of shale rocks for drilling.  If the measure is approved, industry leaders would have to adhere to strict regulations to ensure they don't contaminate water and protect the environment.   

The proposal is drawing praise from Governor Pat Quinn, who says it will help the economy by creating new jobs while protecting the environment.  

Southern Illinois Representatives John Bradley of Marion and David Reis of Olney are sponsors of the bill that was negotiated with officials from industry and agriculture, environmentalists and Attorney General Lisa Madigan.  

State Representative John Cavaletto is a co-sponsor, who called the legislation a great compromise.  He says the legislation would kick start the economy of Southern Illinois, put residents of his district back to work and help the state dig itself out of debt.

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