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July 28, 2014

UK environmental activists raise alarm over fracking expansion

Shale drilling now allowed in national parks in 'exceptional circumstances', renewing calls to end the practice.

Anti-fracking protesters take part in a slow march in front of a mobile crane as it makes its way to the Barton Moss exploration facility on March 6, 2014 in Barton, England. (GETTY IMAGES/DAVE THOMPSON)

Fracking will now be allowed in the UK's national parks in "exceptional circumstances", renewing the debate surrounding the drilling technique. The government launched a new round of bidding for drilling licences Monday after announcing guidelines that expands the area where fracking could occur. 

Fracking, which involves blasting water, chemicals and sand into shale rock to extract gas and oil, has proven to be very controversial throughout the UK. Government officials argue the practice is safe and will bring about more jobs and economic growth, but environmental activists say the technique harms the water supply and can cause earth tremors.

Many expressed opposition to the government's expansion of fracking areas: