A Shale Gas Task Force concludes that fracking "could be safe" for the health and environment, but only if a National Advisory Committe is set up to monitor data from shale gas operations and impose tighter regulation.

Even if rigorous regulation and monitoring takes place, it's not clear how climate change and economics will be affected by fracking. Further Task Force papers on this are expected later in the year.

We also await more detail on the controversial proposals in the Infrastructure Bill which suggest rights of access would be granted to fracking companies over privately owned land.