Supporters of high-volume oil and gas drilling say a bill to regulate the practice in Illinois is ready for a vote after last-minute negotiations over hiring and environmental concerns.
The House bill initially had strong support in February but stalled over an amendment requiring energy companies to hire Illinois-licensed water well drillers. Instead, companies will get a break on certain taxes if more than half their workers are from Illinois and receive prevailing wages.
Industry and environmental groups also revised the definition of high-volume hydraulic fracturing, or "fracking," based on the volume of water used. Supporters say fracking will create jobs; opponents, like Southern Illinoisans Against Fracturing Our Environment, worry about pollution.