Interesting, Fracking actually forms part of our A level Geography course at school.
I do think in the UK's case we're wasting our time pursuing it when we could focus on something like Nuclear. Sure, it's dangerous but we've got one of the best track-records in it, and know what all the risks are. Fracking on the other hand is still debated, with all the potential risks from contamination of groundwater (apparently somewhere in the USA fracking led to CH4 entering peoples' water supplies, so they could set fire to what came out of their taps), causing earth tremors (part of the reason its controversial in the UK, it was linked to two small earthquakes near Blackpool).
And let's not forget that the gas produced will produce CO2 etc. when burnt, which is an environmental concern oft ignored in the debate. So that overall despite the potential benefits/risks, its still slowing the needed switch to green energy on a large scale. Although I do love to use that oil-derived diesel in my car :/