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ND officials backing fracking for oil production

BISMARCK, N.D. (AP) -- North Dakota's Industrial Commission is telling the federal Environmental Protection Agency that it doesn't need to regulate hydraulic fracturing in the state.

Fracking involves pumping water and grit underground at high pressure to break up oil shale rock. Department of Mineral Resources Director Lynn Helms says it's crucial to oil production in western North Dakota.

The commission has approved a letter to a top EPA official in Washington that says state regulation of fracking is working well. It says the EPA should finish a study of fracking before it considers any rules.

Fracking was on the agenda at a Bismarck State College energy conference Monday.

The Industrial Commission consists of Gov. Jack Dalrymple, Attorney General Wayne Stenehjem and Agriculture Commissioner Doug Goehring.

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