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Madigan backs moratorium on fracking in Illinois

Updated: March 13, 2013 10:34AM

SPRINGFIELD — Illinois House Speaker Michael Madigan says he supports a moratorium on hydraulic fracturing over legislation calling for regulations on the practice.

The Chicago Democrat spoke to reporters in Springfield Wednesday, a day after environmental groups rallied at the State Capitol, saying fracking is unsafe and needs more study.

Madigan didn’t explain his position except to say, “Read about what happened in Pennsylvania.”

The issue there has become controversial, including questions over water quality near drilling sites.

Fracking uses high-pressure mixtures of water, sand or gravel and chemicals to break rock formations that then release oil and natural gas.

Lawmakers have proposed legislation — written with the industry’s help — that outlines some of the strictest regulations nationwide.

Gov. Pat Quinn has praised the legislation as a jobs bill.

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