What are seen as the advantages of fracking?
Fracking allows drilling firms to access difficult-to-reach resources of oil and gas.
In America domestic oil production has been raised - which has driven down gas prices.
Some estimate that fracking could ensure both the US and Canada's "gas security" for about 100 years
It is claimed that electricity can be produced at half the CO2 emissions of coal.
The industry argues that in the UK fracking of shale gas could contribute to our future energy needs.
The Task Force on Shale Gas, funded by the industry itself, has said the UK needs
to start fracking arguing that only exploratory drilling will settle the row over
whether fracking will be good for the UK.
The industry - which, in the US, includes somewhat controversial companies such as Halliburton - claims that fracking could create thousands of jobs.