Fracking Earthquakes Shaking Some Sense into Government – at Last!

Store clerk putting canned goods back in the shelves after Saturday's quake

Grocery store reshelves goods after Saturday’s fracking-related quake.

Fracking Wastewater Causing Quakes!

On Saturday, September 3rd, while the rest of the USA was planning it’s Labor Day celebrations, Oklahomans experienced one of the largest quakes in their history. The 5.6 magnitude quake shook the state hard enough to knock a little bit of sense into the Republican governor, Mary Fallin. She ordered 37 fracking wastewater wells shut down but they can’t even do that without risking more quakes.

The wells will be shut down within 10 days according to a schedule that Skinner says is necessary because seismologists have warned that a large and sudden shutdown of the wells could cause another earthquake.

 

A map of this year's earthquakes in Oklahoma associated with fracking

Huge numbers of earthquakes surround fracking sites

The quake, one of 757 man caused quakes to hit Oklahoma this year (over 400 rated >3), caused concerns at the local nuclear power plant. The center of the quake occurred in northern central Oklahoma just nine miles NW of Pawnee.

Nebraska Public Power District’s Cooper Nuclear Station south of Brownville declared an “unusual event” just after 7 a.m. because of the minor tremors.

 

Shamefully, the USGS and Oklahoma continue stating the absurdity that fracking is not causing the quakes ‘it’s just the waste water disposal of fracking (and other oil well activity’ as if you’d have that issue without fracking! The denial goes further into pointing out that most of the waste is just saltwater byproduct of fracking (and other oil drilling.) It’s like saying, ‘The problem isn’t that I’m swinging a bat at your head, it’s that I’m swinging a bat and your head is in the way!’

Alternative Energy in Oklahoma

According to Okie Renewables, Oklahoma ranks 8th in both wind and solar energy potential; so why can’t they cut back on all this fracking?

 

“As of mid-2012, Oklahoma is ranked 8th in the nation with total installed wind power capacity – 2171 MW over 19 wind farms. Oklahoma has the wind power resource potential to serve almost 10% of the nation’s electricity needs. Oklahoma is home to the 8th best solar resource in the nation”

The problem is one of greed and jobs, of course. Someone needs to stand up and be the adult in the room though. Fracking is just a bad idea on a large scale.

Frogie Factoids:

  • Short for Hydrolic Fracturing
  • Fracking recovers gas from shale rock formations by first drilling a deep hole into the shale. Then they pulse a water mixture against the rock like a jackhammer
  • The water, sand and chemicals in the water mixture pulverizes the rock. This releases the gas, which then rises to the surface of the well where gas companies capture it
  • The process creates a large volume of waste water often composes of salt water and chemicals that needs disposed of
  • Gas companies remove wastewater then reinsert it into deep wells under high pressure. It is these high pressure waste-water wells that contribute the most to man-caused quakes.
  • Sometimes the wastewater follows weak spots in the ground and contaminates the groundwater.
  • Fracking also releases a lot of methane into the atmosphere contributing to global climate change.

 

Sources: Independent in UK, CBS News, Oklahoma Earthquake site, AP,

New Study Shows Bisphenol S (BPS) Worse than BPA

As you may know, Bisphenol A (BPA) has many bad qualities. Plastic manufacturers use BPA to harden plastics such as those used in plastic water bottles, canned goods such tomato products, and items used for babies. Additionally, plumbing suppliers line water lines with BPA! In fact, Bisphenol A was used in most food grade plastics for over 40 years.

BPA acts as a hormone (estrogen) mimic leading to abnormal levels of hormones within our bodies. Scientists suspect that it can affect the brain – especially of babies and children – as well as increasing heart disease and having possible links to obesity, cancer and diabetes.

Bisphenol S

Chemical structure of Bisphenol S

The structure of Bisphenol S focuses on a central SO2 group.

After pressure from the FDA and consumers, the plastics industry has switched many products to Bisphenol S (BPS) instead. The difference between the S and the A version is what molecule holds the two halves of the molecule together. In Bisphenol S it’s a sulfone group (SO2) whereas Bisphenol A it’s a dimethylmethylene group (C(CH3)2). So if the problem is the dimethylmethylene group substituting a sulfone group would solve the problems… only it looks like that’s not fixing the issues.

Bisphenol A chemical structure.

Bisphenol A chemical structure where the two arms represent the dimethylmethylene group (C(CH3)2)

New Research on BPS

In a new paper published in PLOS Genetics by UCLA researchers warns that not only does BPS still damage a woman’s eggs like BPA, it does so at a lower concentration! While researchers, led by Yichang Chen, worked with worms, the results should apply equally to humans.

“This study clearly illustrates the issue with the ‘whack-a-mole’ approach to chemical replacement in consumer products,” said Patrick Allard, assistant professor of environmental health sciences at the UCLA Fielding School of Public Health, and the study’s senior author. “There is a great need for the coordinated safety assessment of multiple substitutes and mixtures of chemicals before their use in product replacement. But the good news is that a number of governmental programs and academic labs are now moving in that direction”.

Bullfrog says:

  • Get a BPA and BPS free reusable water bottle and use it
  • Use fresh vegetables when possible or frozen veggies most the time. If you have to use canned vegetables, look for jarred versions especially for acidic foods such as tomatoes and pickled foods which almost always have BPA lined cans.
  • Make fresh soups!
  • Use silicone, ceramic, stainless steel or glass storage containers
  • If you have to buy bottled water – don’t reuse the bottle for potable purposes
  • Never heat plastic containers – if your water bottles got hot in the car – toss them.

Sources: WebMD, UCLA