The government, therefore, will introduce measures to streamline and improve the regulation process for shale gas planning applications so decisions are made more quickly.
The business secretary said new measures were necessary because councils had been "disappointingly slow" to take decisions on shale applications.
The vast majority of the UK's shale gas reserves are in England, with the British Geological Survey estimating that the Bowland Shale basin alone holds 1,329 Tcf of shale gas in place.
Specifically, the statement, which the ministers said should be considered by planning authorities, proposes new planning guidance for shale gas development in England, a new consultation later this summer on whether non-hydraulic fracturing shale exploration development should be treated as permitted development, and a separate consultation on the criteria required to trigger the inclusion of shale production projects into the Nationally Significant Infrastructure Projects regime.
Estimates suggest the United Kingdom could be importing 72% of its gas by 2030.
He added "it is right to utilise our domestic gas resources to the maximum extent" and explore potential for onshore production.
"The Government remains fully committed to making planning decisions faster and fairer for all those affected by new development, and to ensure that local communities are fully involved in planning decisions that affect them", the ministers said. "However, we believe that it is right to utilise our domestic gas resources to the maximum extent and exploring further the potential for onshore gas production from shale rock formations in the United Kingdom, where it is economically efficient, and where environment impacts are robustly regulated", they wrote.
Industry welcomed the government's move.
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"We are pleased it is also recognised, as we ourselves are proving in Lancashire, that shale gas can and does deliver important economic benefits".
The government's plans would "pervert the planning process" and force fracking on communities says Friends of the Earth. "These timelines must improve if the country is to benefit from its own, much needed, indigenous source of gas".
Lynn Calder, commercial director of INEOS shale, said: "The UK potentially has enough home-grown gas to be self-sufficient for years to come". "The government continues to commit to identifying underperforming local planning authorities that repeatedly fail to determine oil and gas applications within statutory timeframes", the statement read.
"The announcement is a step in the right direction and there is much more that needs to be done".
Clark said the United Kingdom had a duty to look at fracking as North Sea gas production declined and the country became more reliant on imports.
Environmentalist groups were dismayed at the announcement.
"We are clear that it should be up to local communities to decide whether or not to host fracking operations in their areas".