Fracking offers mixed fortunes for West Virginia

The rural landscape is now a major testing ground for fracking. Credit: ITV News

Video report by Washington Correspondent, Robert Moore

West Virginia, one of America's most rural states, has become a key testing ground for fracking.

With more than 59,000 wells, it has embraced the controversial method of extracting shale gas on an enormous scale - but it has caused major divisions locally.

Some say it has thrown them an economic lifeline, with jobs being created and land owners making serious money.

Jonathan Davis, a land owner who has leased more than 43 acres of land to an extraction company:

"Without fracking, this gas ain't coming out the ground. So I've got to get fracking."

Landowner Jonathan Davis is one of those feeling the economic benefits of fracking. Credit: ITV News

But a Dutch national living in the small town of West Union has the opposite opinion. "I wake up and the first thing I smell instead of trees and freshly cut grass, is diesel smell," she says.

"They crushed my dream to live in a peaceful environment."

Some residents feel the tranquility of the landscape Credit: ITV News

A government survey in the UK has shown public support for fracking had fallen, with only a fifth of people supporting the method for use in the energy industry.