"Simon Moore, an environment and energy research fellow at the Policy Exchange think-tank produced a report on shale gas earlier this year.
"He said gas-fired powers stations were better for the environment than coal-powered power stations.
"With regard to the earth tremors caused at Blackpool, he said: 'The report that Decc has commissioned and produced... concludes that there was no property damage, no risk (of) injury or anything from those earthquakes.
"'Their conclusion was that the highest (tremors) that could be expected from this process would not be sufficient to cause any damage.'
"Mr Moore acknowledged fears that fracking could cause contamination.
"But he added: 'It's worthwhile remembering that so far most of the stories around that are come from the US where the regulatory regime is much less stringent than exists in the UK already.
"'If fracking is to become more widespread within the UK I think we'll see even greater emphasis on some of the regulation around protecting water tables, that kind of thing."
"Mr Moore said the experience of fracking in the USA showed the potential around this form of technology, and that estimates showed there was possibly several decades' worth of shale gas in the UK.
"'Today's report, allowing the next step in the drilling process effectively, should let those companies involved work out how economically they can produce shale gas in the UK.'"