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Ill. lawmakers file bill to regulate 'fracking'

CHICAGO – Two downstate lawmakers have introduced a bill to regulate high-volume oil and gas drilling in Illinois.

Marion Democratic state Rep. John Bradley and Olney Republican David Reis filed the bill Thursday. Supporters of hydraulic fracturing or "fracking," believe the bill has a good shot because it was 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.

Critics say the state needs more time to study safety issues and evaluate best practices.

The regulatory bill filing comes two weeks after a Senate bill called for a 2-year moratorium on the practice.

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