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State

Quinn praises House committee on 'fracking' vote

SPRINGFIELD (AP) — Gov. Pat Quinn says he hopes a bill that would kick-start high-volume oil and gas drilling passes "swiftly" through the Illinois House and Senate after a House committee voted to send it to the full House.

The House Executive Committee voted 11-0 Tuesday to approve a measure regulating hydraulic fracturing, or "fracking" — the use of high-pressure mixtures of water, sand or gravel and chemicals to crack rock formations deep underground and release oil and natural gas.

Proponents say it's safe and would create jobs in cash-strapped southern Illinois. Quinn has promised to sign the bill.

Opponents worry that fracking could cause air and water pollution and deplete water resources.

They favor a two-year moratorium on the practice, but House and Senate bills calling for a pause have been stalled.

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