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Expanded drilling bill gains nod from U.S. Senate

CHRIS CASTEEL, Washington Bureau Modified: June 10, 2009 at 5:16 am •  Published: June 10, 2009

/> Meanwhile, one senator and three House members introduced legislation that would give the Environmental Protection Agency the authority to regulate hydraulic fracturing, a routine part of drilling for decades in which water and chemicals are injected at high pressures to create fractures and increase the flow of oil.

Water safety
The bill introduced Tuesday would require companies to disclose the chemicals used in the process and allow the EPA to ensure compliance with the Safe Drinking Water Act.

Rep. Dan Boren, D-Muskogee, said hydraulic fracturing had been used in an estimated 1 million wells and had not posed any problems to drinking water.

Boren said the regulation called for in the bill would be "disastrous for the industry,” but predicted that it wouldn’t advance in Congress.

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