SPRINGFIELD – Gov. Pat Quinn Thursday confirmed his support for a proposal that would permit and regulate hydraulic fracturing drilling in Illinois.

Quinn, a Democrat from Chicago, said he has been following the hydraulic fracturing bill “pretty closely.”

In comments to reporters, Quinn said the Department of Natural Resources director and the Illinois Environmental Protection Agency have been involved in drafting the proposal.

“We worked a lot with the environmental groups, and they have endorsed legislation that they feel is environmentally sound,” Quinn said.

Hydraulic fracturing is a process that uses high-pressure mixtures of wa-ter, sand or gravel and chemicals to crack rock formations to release oil and natural gas.

“You have to have strong regulations any time there is any kind of mining that might affect our water and our land,” Quinn said. “If our environmental folks feel that is a safe bill, I think that’s a good sign.”

Quinn had been asked about a Wednesday news report quoting Illinois House Speaker Michael Madigan, D-Chicago, saying that Madigan supported a proposed two-year moratorium on fracking, rather than the regulation proposal.

Quinn said he thought drafters of the regulatory bill “negotiated a good bill. I hope it goes forward.”

“I do feel any kind of fees or severance taxes should be fair to the tax-payers,” he added. “I think they can work that out.”

The legislation is House Bill 2615.

laura.hlavach@lee.net

217-528-1079

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