UK Prime Minister David Cameron has given his unequivocal backing to the divisive ''fracking'' process used to extract shale gas from rocks, risking angering his party's supporters from more rural areas. Ciara Sutton reports.
Tensions remain high as the big UK fracking debate rumbles on. And it's one that Prime Minister David Cameron is determined to win. He's backing "fracking", a process used to extract shale gas from rocks. But campaigners in the village of Bacolmbe - an area of exploratory drilling - say they're not backing down. (SOUNDBITE) (English) STEVE MORRIS FROM CAMPAIGN GROUP, NO FRACKING IN BALCOMBE, SAYING: "We've seen what he's said and the action that's been taken. There's been no action, we've just been left here to let Cuadrilla do what they please. There's no regulation at all going on here." Britain is thought to have major shale gas reserves which could help reverse a dependency on energy imports. But the industry is having to tread carefully to reassure a sceptical public and vocal environmental lobby. Critics say it can trigger small earthquakes, pollute the water supply and spoil parts of the countryside. And Cameron could be risking angering his party's supporters from more rural areas - Balcombe is a constituency in the Conservative party's traditional southern heartland. He's hoping the possibility of shale gas reducing energy bills and creating jobs could help him win the battle.