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Kansas Seeks to Beef Up Budget to Deal With Fracking

KANSAS CITY, Mo. (AP) -- The agency that oversees oil and gas drilling in Kansas says at current staffing levels it cannot adequately perform field inspections because of the recent upsurge of the gas drilling method called horizontal fracturing, or fracking.

The Kansas Corporation Commission (KCC) says there has been a 300 percent increase in permits for horizontally fracked wells in Kansas since 2009. Fracking involves pumping water, sand and chemicals into the well to open cracks and help oil and gas to flow to the surface.

The KCC says its 41 full-time inspectors are not enough to monitor the burgeoning number of rigs in the state. The agency has asked the state to fund six more inspectors.

Governor Sam Brownback has proposed dedicating about $520,000 from the KCC's conservation fee fund for frack site inspections.

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