Hydraulic fracturing, or "fracking,' is headed to Southern Illinois. It's a process that involves pumping a chemical mixture thousands of feet underground to extract oil and natural gas. Around the country, critics say it's bad for the environment. Reports have linked fracking to water contamination, destruction of farm land, and even earthquakes. Republican Senator John Jones is from Mount Vernon. He worked in the oil industry and says a proposal he's backing would regulate fracking and prevent safety risks:
"I think we've tried to protect the general public to the very best of our ability with this language and I don't see any foreseeable problems being created by fracking wells under this legislation."
The proposal would enforce standards for the wells that hold the chemical mixture, which includes water and sand. It would also require companies to disclose what chemicals are being used. Millions of dollars have already been spent on leases for mineral and land rights. Anti-fracking groups say they will continue to try to prevent the drilling from happening.
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