More fodder for environmentalists seeking to halt hydraulic fracturing or fracking. Earthquakes that have occurred in North Texas and Ohio have been associated with fracking efforts. One study cited in a news report published by Indian Country Media Network that was published in the journal Bulletin of the Seismological Society of America (BSSA). reveals evidence of earthquakes measured at 2.1 to 3.0 on the richter scale at certain locations in Ohio.
According to the International Business Times, the amount of earthquakes in the region have increased in which a spokesperson for the US Geological Service (USGS) states it may have something to do with fracking taking place in North Texas.
“There is evidence that some central and eastern North America earthquakes have been triggered or caused by human activities that have altered the stress conditions in earth’s crust sufficiently to induce faulting,” USGS said, in a statement. “Activities that have induced felt earthquakes in some geologic environments have included impoundment of water behind dams, injection of fluid into the earth’s crust, extraction of fluid or gas, and removal of rock in mining or quarrying operations.”
The article goes on to state:
However, USGS added that the link between human activities and increase in the frequency of earthquakes in the region was not conclusive and that further “special studies devoted specifically to the question” were required to study the connection between the two.
I think that fracking can cause earthquakes. The process itself involves inserting highly pressurized water mixed with chemicals between shale layers in order to loosen the oil and gas located within. The only thing is is that earthquakes deemed at 2.1 to 3.0 on the Richter scale do not involve much movement overall and are barely felt by people when they occur. In the case of North Texas, 3.5 or more earthquakes are a bit more serious but, as the International Business Times article says, the link between human activities and increase in earthquakes is not conclusive.
Yet a seismologist from the University of Texas named Cliff Frohlich states that it is possible but unclear since some oil wells he examined that were fracked experienced earthquakes while others did not. On the whole, Flohlich thinks hydraulic fracturing doesn’t cause them.
Environmentalists will cherry-pick from stories like in order to make up propaganda against fracking. They have tried (and failed) to link the procedure to polluting groundwater and other aspects of the natural environment but it does not mean they will stop trying even when the science is against them.