Robust regulation and comprehensive monitoring are vital to ensure the public acceptability test is met when it comes to fracking, Labour's Shadow Energy Minister has said.
Tom Greatrex said: "With 80 per cent of our heating coming from gas and declining North Sea reserves, shale and other unconventional gas may have the potential to form a part of our future energy mix.
"There are legitimate environmental concerns that must be addressed before extraction is permitted.
"David Cameron's Government must take these issues seriously rather than drawing simplistic and irresponsible comparisons with the USA."
His comments come after the government announced the bidding process for licences to explore shale gas will open today.
More top news
The Labour Party has defended the sale of a mug bearing the words "controls on immigration" after it was mocked online.
We spring forward an hour at 1am on Sunday, to mark the start of British Summer Time.
Top Gear co-host James May takes up recorder and posts musical videos online as he fills his time during his 'unemployment'.