PM: Fracking benefits 'clear'

David Cameron has said "we cannot afford to miss out on fracking"as he sets out his argument in favour of the controversial method of extracting gas in the Daily Telegraph.

PM: Whole country 'should get behind fracking'

The Prime Minister is urging the whole country to 'get behind fracking', claiming the controversial method of extracting gas will lower bills and create jobs.

David Cameron believes it offers 'huge benefits'.

But, in Balcombe in West Sussex, where exploratory drilling is already underway, some local people told ITV News reporter Ben Chapman that they aren't convinced.

No 10: Locals must be 'properly consulted on fracking'

A Number 10 spokesman has said that the Prime Minister is keen to ensure that local people were "properly consulted" on shale gas extraction in their communities.

Engineers drill a test well in Balcombe, Sussex to search for deposits of oil and shale gas
Engineers drill a test well in Balcombe, Sussex to search for deposits of oil and shale gas Credit: Lewis Whyld/PA Wire

Asked if the Prime Minister would support fracking in his own constituency of Whitney, the spokesman said Mr Cameron saw "huge potential benefits" from fracking for shale gas and that "ultimately, that view is as relevant in his constituency as anywhere else in the country."

Read: Cameron sets out his support for fracking

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Fracking protests continue at Balcombe

children at fracking site
Children at the site of fracking in Balcombe Credit: ITV Meridian

Despite the Prime Minister's support of the fracking process, protestors at Balcombe are continuing to oppose the drilling process.

In an effort to persuade communities of the benefits of fracking, the process of extracting gas by the hydraulic fracturing of rock using high pressure liquid, firms will offer £100,000 of benefits for each exploratory well.

David Cameron also believes that fracking could bring in more jobs.

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We cannot afford to miss out on fracking

My message to the country is clear – we cannot afford to miss out on fracking. For centuries, Britain has led the way in technological endeavour: an industrial revolution ahead of its time, many of the most vital scientific discoveries known to mankind, and a spirit of enterprise and innovation that has served us well down the decades. Fracking is part of this tradition, so let’s seize it.

– Prime Minister David Cameron, writing in the Daily Telegraph

Read more: PM: Fracking benefits 'clear'

What is the process known as 'fracking'?

A fracking tower Credit: ITV News

Hydraulic fracturing is commonly known as 'fracking' and refers to a process used to extract natural gas from the ground.

It involves pumping a mixture of water, chemicals and sand into the ground at high pressure to release gas from shale rock formations.

The method is widely used in the US where it has produced cheap natural gas, but it has also met with resistance from local communities and environmentalists.

Watch a video explaining more about the process here

Cameron 'determined' to win fracking national debate

There has been much concern about the environment dangers posed by fracking. Credit: ITV News

The Prime Minister has said he is determined to win the national debate on the controversial gas extraction method of fracking.

Setting out his argument in the Daily Telegraph, David Cameron said: "If we don’t back this technology, we will miss a massive opportunity to help families with their bills and make our country more competitive. Without it, we could lose ground in the tough global race.

He also addressed what he said were the "worst of the myths" including suggestions that the Government wants fracking to be confined to certain parts of Britain.

"This is wrong. I want all parts of our nation to share in the benefits: north or south, Conservative or Labour. We are all in this together", Mr Cameron said.

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