NSW Resources and Energy Minister Chris Hartcher said the argument over CSG had been captured by a "hard core" of opponents who refused to compromise because they wanted to shut down all energy from fossil fuels.
The minister also rebuked the gas industry for failing to engage with the community and allowing the objections to CSG to build to the point where the government had to act in February to impose 2km "exclusion zones" around residential areas, redrafting rules it had issued just five months earlier after lengthy consultation.
Amid an often emotional debate on CSG, leaders including federal Resources Minister Gary Gray and Coalition resources spokesman Ian Macfarlane have warned of the risks to energy supplies in NSW because of decisions by premier Barry O'Farrell.
Mr Macfarlane said the state was facing a "crisis" and Santos executive James Baulderstone told The Australian that residential customers could see a 30 per cent rise in energy bills unless new gas supplies were developed.
Highlighting the contrast between two big states, the Queensland government told the Australian Petroleum Production and Exploration Association on Tuesday of plans to release more areas for gas exploration and development.
Mr Hartcher, however, told the industry that the community debate in NSW had forced the imposition of the latest restrictions.
"Industry did not engage in the debate, industry stood back and allowed the debate to happen in the early stages and that vacuum was very quickly filled by the extremist Greens, of which Sydney has its fair share," Mr Hartcher told the APPEA conference attended by about 3,000 people in Brisbane.
Mr Hartcher said the vacuum was made worse by films like Gasland, the US film depicting the dangers of gas projects on water supplies.
"The great mass of the community are interested in seeing the community progress. The great mass of the community want economic development, want jobs, want income, want secure life for their families and themselves," he said.
"They are readily able to be persuaded by good and clear information as to the benefits of any evolving process.
"But that information and that debate was not presented to them and the argument was captured by the extremist element among the Greens."
Mr Harcher also said the state's corruption inquiry into coal licenses under the previous government meant there were community doubts over CSG as well.
"The government acknowledges that the restrictions it has imposed in September of 2012 and February of 2013 are not easy for industry to live with but the government believes those restrictions are necessary, otherwise there will not be the social license so important in a democratic society."
"The anti-CSG sentiment is quite strong and it's fuelled not just by those who concerned about it but by a hard core of people who are opposed to any use of fossil fuels at all," he said.
"It doesn't matter what concessions are given to that group, it doesn't matter how you try and rationalise with that group, they will simply argue that fossil fuels need to be eliminated."
Mr Hartcher told the conference that one of the state Coalition MPs had received letters from nuns at the local convent warning against CSG while the Country Womens' Association had joined protects in Sydney against the developments.