TRAVERSE CITY, Mich. Minority Democrats in the Michigan House are introducing a package of bills dealing with the process of natural gas development known as hydraulic fracturing, or "fracking."
The legislators said Thursday that the measures would make fracking safer and more transparent and accountable. Fracking releases oil and gas from deep underground by cracking open rock with a high-pressure mix of water, fine sand and chemicals pumped into wells.
The industry and the Michigan Department of Environmental Quality say the method has been used in the state for decades without harm.
One of the eight bills would let local governments control fracking in their communities. Others would require disclosure of chemicals used in the process and increase the required distance between fracking operations and residential areas, as well as certain public places.