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G8 warms to fracking, deep-water drilling

May 21, 2012 at 8:24 AM

CAMP DAVID, Md., May 21 (UPI) -- Members of the Group of Eight, in a declaration, said deep-water drilling and hydraulic fracturing were key to a safe and secure energy future.

The G8 industrialized nations wrapped up meetings last weekend at the U.S. presidential retreat at Camp David, Md.

In a 40-point declaration, the G8 said it was committed to a policy of energy security that focused on safety and sustainability.

"We are committed to establishing and sharing best practices on energy production, including exploration in frontier areas and the use of technologies such as deep water drilling and hydraulic fracturing, where allowed, to allow for the safe development of energy sources, taking into account environmental concerns over the life of a field," the declaration read.

Hydraulic fracturing, known also as fracking, uses a mixture of water, sand and chemicals to coax oil and natural gas out of underground shale formations. The practice is controversial because of the perceived toxicity of the chemical components. The United States has moved forward with the practice, though some European countries have placed a moratorium on fracking.

Deep-water drilling slowed in the wake of the 2010 oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico but has since gained momentum.

"As our economies grow, we recognize the importance of meeting our energy needs from a wide variety of sources ranging from traditional fuels to renewables to other clean technologies," the G8 declaration added.

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