Illinois deal on fracking could be national model

State environmentalists and the oil industry did something extraordinary and unexpected -- they compromised

Published March 7, 2013 9:25PM (EST)

                           (AP/Ed Andrieski)
(AP/Ed Andrieski)

CHICAGO (AP) — After years of clashing over the drilling method known as hydraulic fracturing, or "fracking," the oil industry and environmentalists have achieved something extraordinary in Illinois: They sat down together to draft regulations both sides could live with.

If approved by lawmakers, the rules would be the nation's strictest. The Illinois model might also offer a template to other states seeking to carve out a middle ground between energy companies that would like free rein and environmental groups that want to ban the practice entirely.

Brian Petty is executive vice president of governmental and regulatory affairs at the International Association of Drilling Contractors. He says "anytime you can bring the lion and lamb to the table, it's a good thing."

By Tammy Webber

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Anti-fracking Environmentalism Fracking