Green group may not oppose gas fracking

Conservationists say they believe shale gas can be extracted safely in Western Australia, but only if tougher regulations are placed on the industry.

The shale gas revolution has well and truly taken hold in the United States, but it has not been without controversy.

The shift to shale has been driven by the development of a cost effective way of extracting the gas, called hydraulic fracturing.

The process has been linked contaminated ground water supplies in the United States, and has been at the centre of debate across Australia.

Now activity in the sector is ramping up in Western Australia.

John McCarten from the Conservation Council says green groups are not totally opposed to the shift.

"We think it can be done safely, we think it's something that can be done right, it is possible, but what we want is to make sure those regulations are in place," he said.

The council wants a moratorium placed on the industry until tougher regulations are imposed.

Shale gas has flooded the US market and caused prices to plummet, but the author of a Patersons Securities' report on the issue, Alexis Clark says she does not think that will happen in WA.

"What's happened in the US is divorced from WA, in WA, Australia we don't have the oversupply of gas in fact it's the opposite situation," she said

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