Registration is open today for companies looking to perform high-volume oil and gas drilling in the state of Illinois, but the opening comes with its limits.
It will be several months before the companies can actually apply for a permit to use the drilling process known as "fracking". Governor Pat Quinn signed a law that regulates fracking back in July, creating a two-step process for companies to go through. The first step includes registering with the Illinois Department of Natural Resources, and they won't accept applications until a committee approves the rules.
The fracking process uses high-pressure combinations of water, chemicals and sand to crack rock deep underground. It's used to release oil and gas. Those against fracking are afraid it may pollute and deplete water resources.