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,