SPRINGFIELD, Ill. (AP) — A House committee has approved a plan to speed up hydraulic fracturing for oil and gas in Illinois.
The Executive Committee voted 7-4 Monday to advance the plan by Rep. John Bradley despite protests from environmentalists.
Bradley's legislation would take away the power of the Illinois Department of Natural Resources to adopt rules for the extraction method known as "fracking."
The Marion Democrat is frustrated because lawmakers approved fracking a year ago. IDNR still hasn't produced rules and drilling equipment lies silent.
Environmentalists say the legislation takes rule-making authority away from professionals and disregards tens of thousands of public comments.
Anti-fracking protesters held signs during committee testimony that read, "Don't silence 35,000 voices on fracking."
The bill moves to the House floor.