LONDON The British government still supports fracking in general, Communities Minister Sajid Javid said on Monday, just days before his department is due to rule on whether to grant a shale gas fracking permit in northwest England.
The government is due to decide by Oct. 6 whether to grant permits to shale gas firm Cuadrilla to undertake fracking at two sites.
The permits had previously been rejected by the local authority and the decision will be the first time the government uses new powers to intervene on shale gas planning permits.
"I can't talk about a particular planning application but in general terms this government has been clear ... that fracking, and using the resources that we have in this country, is part of the future of this country," Javid told Sky News.
Britain is estimated to have substantial amounts of shale gas trapped in underground rocks but despite support from central government, progress has been slow as environmental campaigners lobby local government to block the method.
(Reporting by Kate Holton; editing by Stephen Addison)