House speaker supports moratorium on fracking


Springfield, Ill. (AP) -- 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 environmentalists and land owners 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 to release oil and natural gas.


Lawmakers have proposed legislation -- written with industry and some environmentalists' help -- outlining some of the strictest regulations nationwide.


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

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